NASA Image Shows Enormous, Mystery Geoglyph of 'Marree Man' from Space

The Marree Man is a geoglyph spanning 2.2 miles (or 3.5 kilometers) head-to-toe, and can be found in the middle of South Australia's desert near a town called Marree, itself 365 miles (589 kilometers) from the city of Adelaide.

The image of a hunter with what might be a stick (or a boomerang) in his hand was chosen as NASA's Image of the Day on Sunday. It was taken by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on June 22, 2019.

"It is unclear who created the giant geoglyph or why, but the large earthen figure has drawn attention to a remote part of South Australia for two decades," said NASA.

The mysterious figure was first spotted in 1998, when a pilot noticed the carvings on a plateau, but has faded as time went on. According to NASA, the lines were barely visible in natural color images collected in 2013 by OLI on Landsat 8.

Worried the hunter might deteriorate further, locals began a five-day restoration project to return the monument to its former glory, using GPS coordinates and a construction grader. The team created wind grooves in the geoglyph, which they hope will allow vegetation to grow—and means in the future, the Marree Man might be green.

Marree Man
NASA has chosen Australia's Marree Man as its Image of the Day for December 29, 2019. NASA

There are several theories as to who made it and why, ranging from members of the U.S. army to a local Australian artist, who died in 2002.

Nobody has come forward as its creator but a series of clues have been dropped, including a series of faxes from an anonymous sender.

The faxes led to the discovery of an American flag near the geoglyph and a note citing the Branch Davidans—the U.S. religious cult involved in the Waco Massacre, and a plaque with an American flag and olympic rings.

The Americans are a popular theory, with many pointing to the U.S. flags and the Americanisms featured in the (also anonymous) press releases distributed shortly after its discovery in 1998. The press releases featured imperial measurements terms such as "aboriginal reservations" that are not typically used by local people.

Another popular theory is that it was created by an eccentric artist from Alice Springs called Bardius Goldberg. In 2018, Richard Wedding, a realtor who said he became friends with Goldberg, told The Advertiser the artist said he was its creator in a deathbed confession, but had asked Wedding to tell no one.

There is now a $5,000 cash reward for anyone who can solve the mystery of its origins.

"There's been so many different claims and the only one I don't believe in is that it was done from outer space," Dick Smith, the entrepreneur offering the reward, told ABC Radio Adelaide.