The Mysterious Stone Spheres of Costa Rica
Found deep in the jungles of Costa Rica in the 1930’s were 300 nearly perfectly round stone balls. They varied in size from a few inches in diameter, to seven feet across and weighing 16 tons. Scientists aren’t sure who made them, how old they are or what purpose they might have had.
In the early 1930’s the United Fruit Company started searching for new space to plant their banana trees because their plantations on the eastern side of Costa Rica, in South America, were threatened by disease. On the western side, however, not too far from the Pacific Ocean they found a promising section of land in the Diquis Valley.
When they started clearing the land, however, workers found something strange: stone balls. They ranged in size from a few inches to six or seven feet in diameter. The most striking thing about these rock spheres was that many of them appeared to be perfectly round and very, very smooth. Undoubtedly they were manmade.
As far as the United Fruit Company was concerned the strange objects were just in the way of their plantation. Workers rolled them off to the sides of the fields by hand or pushed them using bulldozers. Many were eventually transported to homes or businesses to be used as lawn ornaments. Before authorities could intervene a rumor that some of the stones contained gold in their cores caused treasure hunters to drill holes in them, load them with dynamite and blow them pieces hoping to get rich. The only thing they found inside the stone spheres, however, was more stone.
The Science of the Stones
The first archeological investigation of the spheres was done by Doris Stone, a daughter of a United Fruit executive and later the director of Costa Rica’s National Museum. Her observations were published in 1943 in the magazine American Antiquity. A few years later in 1948, Samuel Lothrop of the Peabody Museum at Harvard University, while on an expedition to Costa Rica on an unrelated matter, ran into Stone who told him about the spheres. Lothrop, whose expedition was blocked from its original goal by a civil war, visited the Diquis Valley instead and did an examination of the rock globes.
While most legitimate archeologists have no doubt the stones are the work of an ancient indigenous people, wild stories have grown up about the spheres suggesting that they are connected with aliens or the lost continent of Atlantis. Skeptics argue that primitive people with basic, non-metallic tools could not possibly have made such perfectly round and smooth stones.
However, though many of the stones seem startling round, most of them are not as perfect in shape as they might appear to the casual observer. The best measurements were made by Lothrop in the 1950’s, but he was hampered in his observations by the size of the larger spheres and the difficulty of getting a tape measure around the spheres still half buried in the ground. Also not all the balls are perfectly smooth, and many show the evidence of the tools used to make them.
Workmen hacking and burning their way through the dense jungle of Costa Rica to clear an area for banana plantations in the 1930s stumbled upon some incredible objects: dozens of stone balls, many of which were perfectly spherical. They varied in size from as small as a tennis ball to an astonishing 8 feet in diameter and weighing 16 tons! Although the great stone balls are clearly man-made, it is unknown who made them, for what purpose and, most puzzling, how they achieved such spherical precision.
Recent tests have still failed to provide evidence on how the giant balls were made, and most puzzeling of all, the source of the stone is still unexplained. The best theory so far is that each ball represents a planet from a distant solar system, a map from aliens??