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No. 81: May-Jun 1992

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The Latte Stones

Latte, shaped like truncated pyramids When one thinks of megaliths, Stonehenge, Carnac, and the other classic sites of Europe come to mind. In actuality, megalithic ruins of sorts are to be found almost everywhere. In Oceania, for example, we have the Latte Stones found decorating many of the Mariana Islands in Micronesia:

"Looking a bit like immense bird-baths, the Latte are shaped like truncated pyramids (halenges) capped with enormous hemispherical stones (tasas). They range in height from 5 to 20 feet with circumferences of up to 18 feet and weights that have been estimated at up to 30 tons. The columns are found throughout the Marianas, usually in double rows of up to six stones."

Are the Latte Stones burial monuments or, as some are convinced, merely supports for the dwellings important personages in ancient Micronesia? But why would anyone build a house 20 feet above the ground? Even the Micronesians scoff at the idea. Instead they attribute the Latte Stones to the taotaomona, the spirits of the "before-time" people!

The Latte Stones are so old that even when Magellan discovered the Marianas in 1521, no one remembered what they had been used for. (Davis, Esther Payne; "The Strange Latte Stones of Guam," World Explorer, 1:23, Spring/Summer 1992.)

Reference. Scientific opinions concerning the Latte stones can be found in our handbook: Ancient Man. Details here.

From Science Frontiers #81, MAY-JUN 1992. 1992-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987