Superstars aren’t the only ones who suffer from overexposure — the very same type of collapse in public interest can happen to the great Wonders of the World as well. Take the Great Wall Of China for instance. I feel like I’ve seen every damn brick of that structure ten times in my lifetime from photography to movies. And likewise for the overexposed tourist destination known as Machu Picchu in Peru.
“It’s breathtaking.” Yawn. “It’s magnificent.” Double yawn. “It’s out of this world.” OK, you can shut up now. Over the course of my life this is what had become of my appreciation for this great structure built by the Incas on a mountain ridge above Peru’s Urubamba Valley around 1400 and abandoned a mere 100 years later during the Spanish Conquest. That is until I happened to watch NOVA’s jaw-dropping documentary Ghosts of Machu Picchu. The hour-long doc begins with the story of the Inca civilization and how the structure came to be built, followed by its incredible discovery in 1911 by the American historian Hiram Bingham.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Ghosts of Machu Picchu is the explanation of the sophisticated engineering that is going on underground beneath the structure. This incredible explanation of why Machu Picchu has not fallen off the top of that mountain in 500 years has reignited my childhood fascination with this monumental site. To learn more about Machu Picchu be sure to visit the United Nations.
NOTE: YOU CAN WATCH NOVA’S “GHOSTS OF MACHU PICCHU” IN THE LOW QUALITY YOUTUBE BELOW, OR WATCH IT IN HIGH-DEFINITION BY VISITING PBS.ORG.