The sandy masterpiece was made by an artist who does huge, intricate earthworks.

A photo posted by bigupmag (@bigupmag) on

What would a Midwest crop circle look like if transported to San Francisco? Groovy and mystic, it appears, and centered not in a corn field but on the wind-scoured shores of the Pacific.

This Sunday, folks out for a jaunt on the northern edge of Ocean Beach likely stumbled upon a giant, flowery symbol scratched in the sand. Though the Bay Area has a history of alien sightings, the culprit here was a denizen of our solar system: Andres Amador, a San Francisco artist known for creating expansive, intricate earthworks. Amador started working the beach with a rake at noon, and in a few hours had gifted it patterns reminiscent of a 1960s psych-rock album cover or an actually not-terrible tramp stamp.

Amador kicked off his beach-drawing career a decade ago while studying "geometry, ancient architecture" and (yes indeed) "crop circles." He's executed hundreds of sandy masterpieces in several countries, some covering as much as 100,000 square feet. His ultimate goal, he writes, is to "bring a sense of wonder and immediacy to the viewer."

And he did just that for this latest piece, magnetizing a large crowd gathered up on the beach cliffs. The artwork is likely gone by now, a victim of the tides, but here's evidence of its brief, splendid existence:

A photo posted by @1amsf on

This great time lapse from the same location in 2014 gives a window into Amador's process:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An aisle in a grocery store

    It's Not the Food Deserts: It's the Inequality

    A new study suggests that America’s great nutritional divide goes deeper than the problem of food access within cities.

  2. Transportation

    The Automotive Liberation of Paris

    The city has waged a remarkably successful effort to get cars off its streets and reclaim walkable space. But it didn’t happen overnight.

  3. A man sits in a room alone.

    The World's First Minister of Loneliness

    Britain just created an entirely new ministry to tackle this serious public health concern.

  4. Life

    Amazon Whittles Down List of HQ2 Contenders to 20 Finalists

    The list skews toward larger cities and metropolitan areas along the Eastern corridor, stretching as far north as Toronto and as far south as Miami. And it looks like some of the economic incentives might be paying off.

  5. A small accessory dwelling unit—known as an ADU—is attached to an older single-family home in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood.

    The Granny Flats Are Coming

    A new book argues that the U.S. is about to see more accessory dwelling units and guides homeowners on how to design and build them.