Machu Picchu’s Face


By Randall Richards

"The Face" peering over Machu Picchu

"The Face" peering over Machu Picchu

I’ve been to Machu Picchu for over ten years, and I’ve heard tell of “the face on Huayna Picchu Mountain” for years. I have been able to pick out the stylized puma face that everyone talks about,  with its ears and eyes, but the other day, human face  jumped out at me as I looked at these images I’d taken,  from the classic view on the sloping rock just above Machu Picchu. When I was looking through my images of the day, I clearly saw the face of an older man, wearing a “chulla” or Peruvian hat with ear flaps, as he looks over the Machu Picchu Citadel.

Details of Huayna Picchu's Face

Details of Huayna Picchu's Face

I’d recently run across an “optical illusion” website that features the profile of an Inka man looking skyward, shown by a profile of the ridge from the ruins to Huayna Picchu Mountain, but after close examination of the ridgeline in the website’s images, and comparing them to ridgeline in my images, there is clearly some Photoshop imagery going on.  A Peruvian author has used the profile on the cover of his book. I even walked by a hotel here in Cusco the other day which is using a drawing of “the profile” for its logo.  The profile, whether Photoshop enhanced or not, is still a stretch, any way you look at it,  and may not be the real face that has been hidden in plain sight all along.

Back to the face that I’ve observed. It clearly has eyes, a nose mouth, chin and whole face, at least in my mind’s eye. (Let me know if you see it too). The second image at right  is a blow up of the image with my text and pointer lines inserted. A word about Photoshop: these images are un-retouched. Take any other image from the same location, at late afternoon during the southern winter, and you’ll get the same results.

Every time I see an image of Machu Picchu from that angle, the face now jumps out at me. I am interested in hearing your comments or experiences when visiting Machu Picchu. Do you see the face?

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7 Responses to “Machu Picchu’s Face”

  1. Emrick Says:

    go to this site, you will see a face

    • mtnspirit Says:

      I believe, almost certain, that image on the travmonkey site has been photoshopped.
      R. Richards

      • Robert Says:

        ahahaha, have YOU ever been there? That image is not photoshopped! That is how it looks or at the worse, how it looked. That image is a perfect example of why it is so mysterious; It looks so much like an actual Inka face and there is no explanation for it!

      • mtnspirit Says:

        Yep, have been there. You write “or, how it looked” Are you suggesting the ridgeline has been altered? How would that happen? I think we’re having some miscommunication. The ridgeline doesn’t really look like that. It has been Photoshopped for sure.
        R. Richards

  2. mtnspirit Says:

    This post has been getting a lot of attention lately. I’ll add another image soon, without the arrows, which is a blow-up of the first image. It will help you see what I’m seeing in the mountain’s face.
    R. Richards

  3. DDog Says:

    Your personal face with the hat and stuff is a bunch of imagined malarky. But the skyward face it there for sure.

    • mtnspirit Says:

      So….what you’re saying is your imagined face is better than my imagined face. Of course my face is imagined. Malarky? That may be so..Have you been there to see it personally? Also, maybe read the book “To See Differently” as well as “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.”
      But thanks for the comment!
      R. Richards

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