Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

Adam Hennessy
3 min readFeb 4, 2024
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

The stone spheres of Costa Rica, often hailed as the “mysterious stone spheres,” are a collection of over 300 perfectly spherical stone balls scattered across various locations in the country. Ranging from a few centimetres to colossal sizes exceeding two meters in diameter and weighing up to 16 tons, these artifacts are attributed to the ancient Diquis culture, flourishing in the region from 600 to 1530 AD.

What is their purpose?

The purpose and meaning of the stone spheres remain subjects of ongoing debate among archaeologists and researchers. Theories range from astronomical and ceremonial functions to architectural or structural roles. Some propose practical applications, like marking water sources or delineating territorial boundaries.

Symbolism?

Many believe the spheres served as status symbols, reflecting the wealth and power of individuals or communities. This is often tied into the notion that they represented markers for ritual or ceremonial use tied into a complex cosmological an/or religious belief system.

Their purpose may not be agreed upon in scientific circles but what has been agreed to are their cultural importance. They have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2014).

Materials and construction

The spheres are composed of granodiorite. This is a rock that oddly is not present in the local area which means one of two things — they were crafted elsewhere and moved or the raw material was brought in and they were crafted on site.

As for how they were made, this is unclear, the most popular belief is they were shaped using a combination of controlled fracturing, pecking, and grinding combined with a sand buffing process to crate the smooth surface. We do not really know, but with no metal tools this feat was mammoth — remember some are as big as 2 metres and 16 tonnes!

Other Theories

Photo by Albert Antony on Unsplash

Extra-terrestrial

An alternate theory is that they are extra-terrestrial in origin gifted to the most powerful…

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