Backpacking · Fitness · Geology · Golestan, Iran · Hiking and Fitness · Iran · Islamic Republic of Iran · mountaineering · The Middle East · Trekking

“Nazca Alien” Art in Iran…

or Mother Nature’s canvas?

Would you believe that there’s a place in Iran where they have their very own “Nazca lines?” Deep in the Alborz mountains, over a thousand meters high, this petroglyph-like image has been there for as long as villagers can remember.

The Elephant tucked behind a sunflower garden.

A village, I often visit for trekking, exploring and hiking located high up in the mountains of the Alborz in Northern Iran, is home to the locally famous Iranian “Nazca” Elephant. People call this mountain “Elephant Mountain”: of course, because of the large elephant-like figure etched into the mountainside, perfectly visible for all to see!

Trekking towards the gigantic Elephant.

The Great Elephant of Iran is somewhat of a mystery, similar to the Nazca lines in Peru; unlike the geoglyphs, however, the Elephant sits perched, etched into the mountainside, many meters tall and wide.

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A beautiful view of “The Elephant.”

What’s more is that the Elephant has long been used by many to navigate their way through these mountains, and it is relished as a gift from the heavens by local villagers. It makes sense too:  below the feet of the Elephant lies an endless river valley with waterfalls, edible fruits and flowers, swimming holes and freshwater springs–something you can look forward to seeing more of later if you follow my blog.


Enjoying the fresh water and animals that drink and play near the river.

The Elephant marks the spot of a beautiful river valley where villagers go for fresh water and other goodies Mother Nature has to offer.

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Making my way down to the river, following the path of the Elephant.

As this river valley cuts between the Elephant Mountain and another side that grows wild saffron and other types of edible plants, people often find their way home due to the Elephant and an understanding of accurate perspective.


 Down at the river: swimming, eating off trees and exploring.


On the other side of the Elephant.

However, after seeing the great Elephant of Iran and all the glorious things that surround it, one question remains… was this elephant figure placed there by some ancient civilization, UFO, or is it Mother Nature’s very own artistic hand at work?


Well, I can’t tell you that, it wouldn’t be any fun 😛  What I can tell you… is that this elephant, no matter how it became imprinted onto the mountainside, is almost perfectly shaped with every detail of an elephant! Just look at the photos; its got the trunk, the ears, the four legs, and the tail.  Looks quite amazingly like an elephant, no matter how it got there! I would love to hear what the skeptics and non-skeptics have to say of course!

The Elephant looking down on us all…

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