Costa Rica’s Mystery on Caño Island

Travel back into world history and unravel the mystery of the spheres!

Individuals are attracted to Caño Island in the Osa Peninsula not only for its sandy white beaches, clear blue water, and stunning coral reefs which make for an unforgettable diving and snorkeling experience. Caño Island has a mystery that still baffles locals and scientists around the world.

beautiful coral reef

Caño Island is located in the beautiful Corcovado Bay of the Osa Peninsula. Many come to the island to see a wide range of marine wildlife which may include manta rays, dolphins, sea turtles, whales, manateesand an incredible variety of fish. Migrating tropical birds, coiled snakes, slippery tree frogs and other locals are inhabitants of this island.

mysterious stone spheres

What’s the mystery here at this seemingly normal place? Over 300 stone spheres have been found scattered around the country! The size of these spheres range from only a few centimeters to over two meters in diameter. Some of these balls, commonly known as “Las Bolas,” weigh over 16 tons! These granodiorite structures are said to have been hand-carved from material brought from the nearby Talamanca mountain range. The spheres are speculated to be from the time period of 200 BC to AD 800. Scientists are still unclear on how the spheres were shaped. It could have been through application of hot and cold substances, and the chiseling of the material to form their almost perfect spherical shapes.

Numerous rumors, myths, and speculations surround the questions of when, what, why, and how of these mystical spheres. Unfortunately, many of the stone spheres have been removed from their original locations, blown up in search of gold treasure, or rolled into marine locations (such as at the Caño Island). Some believe they came from Atlantis, or that a mystical potion existed which allowed ancient inhabitants to soften the rock.

stone spheres submerged in the ocean

Seeing these ancient landmarks for yourself in-person at Caño Island only takes a short boat ride, and will provide endless wonder. Boats can be accessed from the town of Uvita, located along the South Pacific Coast, or other towns such as Drake Bay, located on the Osa Peninsula. Come speculate for yourself, and dabble with your own theories of how these monolithic sculptures came into existence!

Written by:  Sarah Elena

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