Photo: Costa Rica's Mysterious Spheres May Soon be Added to World Heritage List
The Costa Rican Diquís Spheres, which date back to the pre-Columbian era, are believed to have been carved between 200 BC and 1500 AD and may finally be included on the Wild Heritage List.
The spheres, referred to as Los Bolas by the locals, range in size from a few centimeters to over 2 meters (6.6 ft) in diameter and weigh up to 15 tons.
As workers with the United Fruit Company were clearing the jungles for banana plantations in the 1930s, the spheres were discovered. Many were simply pushed aside by bulldozers, leaving some damaged.
Workers allegedly attempted to break some of them up with dynamite before authorities intervened, as they heard myths the spheres were filled with gold and precious stones.
In 1943, a scientific investigation of the spheres was published in American Antiquity and attracted Samuel Kirkland Lothrop of the Peabody Museum at Harvard. His research of the spheres was later published in Archaeology of the Diquís Delta, Costa Rica 1963.
Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla recently met with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to discuss the spheres’ inclusion on the list.
If added to the Wild Heritage List, interest and subsequently tourism to Costa Rica is likely to increase, stimulating the economy.