Mysterious Nazca-like Site near Dunhuang in China

Mysterious Nazca-like Site near Dunhuang in China

Dunhuang is a city (pop. 187,578 (2000) in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China. It was a major stop on the ancient Silk Road. It was also known at times as Shachou, or ‘City of Sands’. It is situated in a rich oasis containing Crescent Lake and Mingsha Shan, “Echoing-Sand Mountain”. Mingsha Shan is so named for the sound of the wind whipping off the dunes, the singing sand phenomenon. It commands a very strategic position at the crossroads of the ancient Southern Silk Route and the main road leading from India via Lhasa to Mongolia and Southern Siberia, as well as controlling the entrance to the narrow Gansu Corridor which led straight to the heart of the north Chinese plains and the ancient capitals of Chang’an (today known as Xi’an) and Luoyang.

Mysterious Nazca-like site is located 100 km W from Dunhuang, Jiuquan, Gansu, China.  Google Earth satellite photos show few areas with strange geometric patterns (geoglyphs).  There are also 2 areas which look like “landing strips”.  Perhaps it is a military installation, however most of the strange areas are difficult to interpret. Noticeable erosion indicates that some of the patterns could be ancient…

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Here are few Google Earth images  of the most interesting areas (click on each image to enlarge).


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For more photos go to Ancient Airstrip in China? or use Google Earth.
Here are coordinates for Google Earth:

Latitude:  40°28’43.07″N
Longitude:  93°28’36.42″E

Your are invited to send us your comments about this site.

Mysterious Marks Near Dunhuang, China

by JD Branson

There are some mysterious marks which some call airports near the ancient city of Dunhuang in Gansu Province, I believe. I will provide solid evidence that these are nothing like an airport that I have ever heard of and I am a retired engineering manager and a pilot.

If one goes to Google earth an enters the latitude and longitude provided on the bottom of the first image, you can move the cursor around and see that the marks are not built up in elevation as an airport would be. Road graders and compactors are needed to pack a field sufficiently to safely take the extreme pressure that landing gears make at times. Any yielding of the dirt would cause the plane to spin out of control. Of course, there are no support buildings or taxiways to parking areas.

One may also see that common truck traffic has made tracks out across a number of the marks and therefore it cannot be paved or a prepared surface. If the marks were graded and compacted, they would be nearly perfectly level lengthwise and side to side. When tracing the contour with GE they still show the general contour of the area around them.

Water erosion on the west mark indicates that this desert area was once quite a bit moister and the marks were already there during heavy rains or snow runoff. Even the darker colored areas which one might be tempted to think are paved show signs of erosion.

Read the entire article here: Ancient Airstrip in China?

Related Articles:

PS Ancient or Modern?

This mysterious “grid” was discovered in China (see Google Earth coordinates on the pictures).
It is 31km x 31 km. When was it made and for what purpose?

Click on images below to enlarge:

ChinaGrid ChinaGrid_detail

 Detail of the satellite photo above.

Not far (NW) from the above location we find another grid (erosion suggests it was made very long ago – perhaps in ancient times?)


More grids nearby:


Note: similar grid exists in Africa: African Nasca?


  1. says

    World mysteries is doing a wonderful job. We have lost knowledge about our past. And whatever comes up to our notice now are great mysteries for us. For the time being we can only speculate. But it is indeed much food for thought for those curious among us.

  2. Avenger says

    About markings 10 and 7.

    7: there’s a google earth picture from 13th april 2005 where there’s just nothing there, when 6th may 2005 it shows the mark already there. Then it was built in the meanwhille…

    10: the same, this supposedly ancient marking was being built in 13th april, 2005 picture of google earth (shows 4/13/2005 on the acquisition history)

    So one can assume the other markings are all recent as well. :) I suppose.

  3. says

    China is not unique in having huge unexplainable perhaps ancient man made lines
    that can only be clearly seen from the sky. Thanks to Google Earth, Google Maps,
    Bing Maps and perhaps others these interesting Nazca type lines are now being
    located all over the world with amazing frequency. Here are three: 1) Mideast
    2) Amazon
    3) Georgia, USA
    These enormous lines being found all over the world including North and South America
    seem to indicate that the people of the ancient world had more in common with each other than we seem willing to concede.

  4. Nicolas Joubert says

    These markings were created by the army. They are dummy replicas of city streets and airfields, used for practice by the airforce by dropping boms in the 40s.
    If you look close you can see the craters created.

  5. Dave B. says

    The Markings located at 40deg.27’10” N, 93deg.44’34″E were created in April and May of 2005. This activity was recorded on the google earth imagery dates of 4/13/2005 and 5/29/2005.

  6. mike says

    Using Google Earth you can see other Nazca-like markings in Mexico. Not only what could be symbols but a possible landing area.

    20.871083, -86.966414

  7. Indemdairhills says

    Ive been reading some underground Chinese websites..the Chinese believe the big zigzag artwork are actually street designs of strategic foriegn cities….I dont have the time to check this out.

  8. chaser says

    Since it’s near the famous Mogao Caves, I guess it could have something to do with archeology… ongoing survey maybe?

  9. says

    The problem with these discussions is that so many people who read this think that
    anyone who believes what we are discussing has at sometime in their life slipped over the edge of credibility. “Don’t you know that ancient man was not and never was
    advanced in any way?” “Don’t you know that N America was NEVER occupied by any
    advanced civilizations prior to the arrival of the Europeans?” If that was in fact correct then how do you explain the water diversion project of Li Bing in China in the
    2nd or 3rd century BC? How can you possibly explain the genius mapping skills of
    Zhang Heng and Phei Hsiu not only of the earth but of the sky as well in the 1st and
    3rd centuries AD? Information on these people and topics are readily available on the
    internet. And as far as there not being an advanced civilization of rock carvers in
    N America then how can you explain this rock formation?
    Go to “hendon’s geoglyphs” or for more information.

  10. Paula says

    I’m so glad I found somebody else just as interested in this as I was. In this website were the coordinates to see the big strange marking, but as I looked with more attention, I perceived that round place with airplanes and all these other strange things. I also noticed plenty of small tents, containners and things alike.

    With a little research I discovered that following a connected road to NE and then NW it comes to the coordinate 40.510141,93.236648, not very far away, and seems to be some kind of geological park, there is even some pictures links. Also, there seem to be some kind of block on the road, not sure.

    Anyway, it’s late and I’ve been on GEarth for hours now and my heads feels like a sponge. If you find more interesting stuff like this would you mind sharing it with me? Mail [email protected]

    Many thanks and regards!


  11. Decker says

    I’m not a 100% sure but I think these are sedimentation trench to extract lithium iron phosphate to create batteries. These trench are barely a few inches deep to let the water to naturally avaporate under the sun. The sediments (lithium iron) leave colourful paterns like if somebody would have painted the bottom of the trench with white chalk. China possess around 10% (ish) of the lithium iron but Chile has an enormous stock (70% of the world known stock) by itself alone still be extracted. The extraction process is very slow and still need to improve.

  12. says

    Thank you for developing this most interesting information. If this ever was an airport for fixed wing aircraft ancient or not would not the runways then face into the wind for takeoffs and landings? Is there any way to find this out? Are there any operating airports anywhere close? If so do the angle of their runways approximate the angle of these lines? Is it safe to assume that the wind directions would remain
    relatively constant over the ages?
    This area of discovery is very important because so many geoglyphs are now being
    located all over the world. The only way for most of the geoglyphs to be seen is from very high altitude. This only makes sense if somehow the ancients were able to
    see what they had made from high altitude. Because of this reality and the mainstream’s inability to fathom the idea of ancient flight many geoglyphs are
    not officially or even unofficially recognized. Experts get around this somehow by remaining confused on how the ancient builders intended for the Nazca Lines to be seen and by making and then accepting the farfetched claim that the huge Marree Man geoglyph in Australia was recently made by some unknown person who has never been identified who used GPS technology at tremendous expense for unknown reasons to create this beautifully detailed image of an ancient man in the Australian outback. They have to believe that the Marree Man has just been recently done or accept that ancients did it using technology that we didn’t know they possessed.
    Thanks again for your work and continue to keep us posted.

    Hendon Harris

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