The strange stone spheres of Costa Rica

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The strange stone spheres of Costa Rica

Was God playing marbles? In the 1930s, workers from the United Fruit Company, were clearing land in the Diquis Valley and began unearthing large numbers of almost perfectly round stone spheres. The largest of these apparently man-made balls was over two meters in diameter and weighed over 16 tons. No one is sure exactly when or how they were made, or by whom, or for what reason, but according to University of Kansas archeologist John Hoopes:
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The balls were most likely made by reducing round boulders to a spherical shape through a combination of controlled fracture, pecking, and grinding.

The granodiorite from which they are made has been shown to exfoliate in layers when subjected to rapid changes in temperature. The balls could have been roughed out through the application of heat (hot coals) and cold (chilled water). When they were close to spherical in shape, they were further reduced by pecking and hammering with stones made of the same hard material.

Finally, they were ground and polished to a high luster. This process, which was similar to that used for making polished stone axes, elaborate carved metates, and stone statues, was accomplished without the help of metal tools, laser beams, or alien life forms.

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By netchicken: posted on 23-9-2006

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