A huge pentagram etched into the ground in a remote region of Kazakhstan caused a flurry of conspiracy theories after an image of it appearing on Google Earth resurfaced in a popular science blog, The Daily Mail reported on Friday.
The five-pointed star measures 366 meters in diameter and is situated on the southern shore of the Upper Tobol Reservoir in the north of Kazakhstan.
There are almost no other signs of human habitation in the area; the closest settlement is the city of Lisakovsk, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) to the east.
The reason for the symbol and its location in such a far-flung corner of the country is unknown.
Pentagrams are commonly associated with satanic cults, but are also used by non-satanic cultures and religious groups such as Wiccans, Bahais and Chinese Taoists, as well as neopagans and followers of the Greek mathematician Pythagoras.
Some online commenters have concluded that the symbol is the work of a satanic cult. This explanation has been propped up by two Googlemaps users named “Adam” and “Lucifer,” a name associated with the devil, who have highlighted the pentagram.
Others guess that it could be the remains of a Russian military base, or the abandoned site of a Soviet-era lakeside campground. Kazakhstan was part of the former Soviet Union until its independence in 1991.
One internet user, Kurt Yates, from Seattle, Washington, posted on the Live Science website: ‘It’s probably an abandoned surface to air missile site.
“I was a military pilot and these things are all over the place in areas that use(d) Russian (Soviet) air defense systems.
“The shape has something to do with how their tracking radars work.”
But not all are convinced by this explanation. Another Internet user, Josh Destardi, wrote on Live Science: “Not a theorist, but an air missile site that just happens to be in the shape of a perfect pentagram? Don't buy it.”
Although conspiracy theorists are now having another go at solving the mystery, the pentagram was first brought to global attention by an English language Russian website in 2009.