Nazca Lines in West Texas

I flew over west Texas around 1pm today, 34,000 feet over booming places like Monahans and Wickett, on the way back from a (very fast) trip from San Diego to Tampa. While passing over I saw some lines I had never noticed before.

While no-one will ever confuse these with the Nazca lines, they were strange. Oil rigs? Homesteads? If the latter, people seemingy scraped themselves a dirt lot. Wouldn’t they be better off leaving the native scrub in place rather than living on dirt?

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Comments

  1. Some Body says:

    Those are likely oil wells.

  2. Pablo says:

    I’ve had this same experience throughout the southwest. It just looks like dirt from the air – get down on the ground and they’re mucho vegetation. The colors are deceiving.

  3. Brian says:

    I don’t know West Texas but at my place outside Dallas the grass was only naturally green in the spring. Summer and fall it was a kinda tan-ish brownish color.
    Note this is without heroic measures such as watering. We had several acres of former pasture and didn’t care to water the whole bit.

  4. Andi says:

    Have you tried finding these on Google Maps satellite images?
    This may be of interest:
    http://dwb.sacbee.com/content/business/24hr_business/story/3347812p-12326435c.html

  5. onelight says:

    Yup — noticed the same thing last Spring on a flight over this area — decided they were oil wells and others have confirmed that likelihood

  6. chris sivori says:

    Oil wells.
    In this image: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF-8&z=13&ll=31.694141,-102.811947&spn=0.112028,0.161018&t=h&om=1
    You can see the shadow of the derrick. The tanks are for storing oil or the water separated from the oil. By law, I believe the water pumped out of the ground must be stored either in evaporative ponds or in tanks for later removal.

  7. Harold Stewart says:

    They are a combination of oil well locations, access roads, ranch roads, pipeline right-of-ways, and a few homesites. I have always thought they resembled the Nazca lines. Most of the vegetation in this area rarely exceeds 4-5 feet in height, and (except for the mesquite bushes) is brown and tan for a good part of the year. Starting just at the west edge of Monahans is one of the most extensive oak forests in the country. Unfortunately, it is scrub oak, and grows only a foot or so tall.

  8. Harold Stewart says:

    They are a combination of oil well locations, access roads, ranch roads, pipeline right-of-ways, and a few homesites. I have always thought they resembled the Nazca lines. Most of the vegetation in this area rarely exceeds 4-5 feet in height, and (except for the mesquite bushes) is brown and tan for a good part of the year. Starting just at the west edge of Monahans is one of the most extensive oak forests in the country. Unfortunately, it is scrub oak, and grows only a foot or so tall.

  9. Anne Toal says:

    That’s the Permian Basin of Texas, home of one of the biggest oil reserves in the US. You were looking at a network of wellheads and service drives.