A 15-year-old boy named William Gadoury, from Quebec, Canada has just discovered an ancient, forgotten Mayan city using Mayan astronomy, satellite photos and Google Earth. Damn, when I was 15 I was proud I had just discovered a stack of nudie mags in the woods.
Making teens everywhere look like dicks for not cleaning their room.
Gadoury theorized that the Mayans built their cities to line up exactly with stars in their constellations. He researched this hypothesis using Mayan maps of constellations and matched them to known locations of Mayan cities and found this to be true. However, in one constellation of three stars a city was “missing.”
So using satellite images from the Canadian Space Agency and Google Earth he found a lost Mayan city lined up with the star. The images confirmed rectangular manmade structures hidden in the Yucatan jungle. The 15-year-old has named the city K’aak Chi which means Mouth of Fire. Again, what the hell were you doing at 15? I named a pet rock. This kid is like a young Indiana Jones and Carl Sagan rolled in one. So here are some more ancient, lost places we wish he would find!
1. Lost Dutchman’s Mine
Legend has it that there is still “gold in them there hills!” Specifically, some believe an as yet discovered gold mine is in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix, Arizona. The story goes that a 19th century German immigrant named Jacob Waltz discovered a gold mine and kept the location a secret. (Back in the day they called Germans “Dutch.” ‘Mericans will call you what they damn well please!) Various versions of the story exist, but the main account is that after discovering the location of the blinged out mine Waltz is attacked or wounded but tells a doctor where the gold mine is before he dies. Only no one was ever able to find it again. Thousands of people have gone looking for what might have just been the delirious ramblings of a dying man.
2. El Dorado: The Lost City of Gold
For centuries treasure hunters have dreamed of a legendary “Lost City of Gold.” Thinking someone would just stumble across it like they are in The Goonies expeditions have set out to find what could only be described as an ancient wonder of the world: an entire city filled with gold. Only there has never been any indication that such a site exists. Supposedly the ancient Muisca tribe in Columbia hoarded treasures they would give to the king each time a new one was appointed. While the legend has grown to make treasure seekers believe this tribe left an actual city of gold, some historians think that during a ritual the king himself was bathed in gold and treasure ala Scrooge McDuck and that no actual “city of gold” ever existed. Time for that 15-year-old Canadian kid to find out for sure!
The most famous “lost” location, Atlantis is believed by mainstream historians to only exist in Ancient Greek fiction. Plato wrote about the island of Atlantis attacking Athens. It wasn’t until the 19th century that some thought of this as a historical account, leading to modern expeditions to try and discover the lost civilization of Atlantis. Some legends say Atlantis, the sunken island was in the Mediterranean, while others say the Atlantic Ocean. In 2011 professor said he found evidence of Atlantis in southern Spain. Time for a teenager armed with Google Earth to set us all straight!
4. The Treasure Of La Noche Triste
Spanish military led by Hernan Cortes in 1520 were trapped in the Aztec capital city of Tenochtitlan, surrounded by locals who were angry the Spanish had killed their leader. So they tried to escape and on their way out of town stole hordes of Aztec treasure. The Aztecs thought this was a dick move and proceeded to kill half of the Spanish troops during an intense battle. They then took back the looted treasure and hid it in the surrounding mountains so no more Spanish would find it. Only they did too good a job of hiding it, as it seems no Aztecs or anyone else has ever been able to find it again. Whoops!
5. Thinis of Ancient Egypt
Thinis is a lost city that would be pretty cool to find since it is name dropped several times in the Egyptian Book Of The Dead. I imagine if it is ever discovered by Brendan Fraser buried under the sands of Egypt a gaggle of Mummy’s and the undead will be released. Sadly there is no evidence of Thinis existing in reality. Maybe it was just a small town out in the middle of nowhere. Think about it: in a few hundred years will anything be left of the crap hole town ya’ll grew up in?
6. City Of The Caesars
A lost ancient city full of treasure is said to exist somewhere in the Andes. The cool thing about the City Of The Caesars is that it keeps moving, or so the legend goes. It even has the nickname “the wandering city” which may be because those traveling the Andes see a mirage from the shifting ice. Some say the inhabitants were the survivors of a Spanish shipwreck, while other stories attribute the civilization to the last remnants of the Incas. Nothing a 15 year-old with Google maps can’t handle.
Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney