NewsPowerful earthquake in Mexico. An incredible discovery found underground

Powerful earthquake in Mexico. An incredible discovery found underground

The earthquake in Mexico made an extraordinary discovery possible.
The earthquake in Mexico made an extraordinary discovery possible.
Images source: © "NECKLACE", UNAM
ed. KMO

6:24 AM EDT, October 25, 2023

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.7 on the Richter scale, which hit Mexico, led to a surprising discovery. From the rubble of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, a huge snake head emerged. The statue, created during the times of the Aztec empire, astonished experts with its very well-preserved, original colors.

In September 2022, the Mexican states of Michoacán and Colima were hit by an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale. Its effects were felt even at a distance of about 248 miles from the epicenter located in Mexico City. The earthquake led to the destruction of several buildings. One of them was a building that was part of the law school at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, which is located in the historic city center of Mexico City.

In the destroyed part of the building, a huge snake's head emerged from the rubble. As reported by IFL Science - the people who noticed it alerted archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). Experts, upon arrival at the scene, secured and extracted the statue from a hole about 14.7 feet deep using a crane. They then built a special chamber to allow the sculpture to gradually lose moisture without the simultaneous risk of losing its colors.

Snake's head from the times of the Aztec Empire
Snake's head from the times of the Aztec Empire© NECKLACE, UNAM

The head of the serpent has only now been revealed to the wider public. It is 5.9 feet long, 3.3 feet high, and 2.8 feet wide. The weight of the statue has been estimated at 2,645 pounds. Researchers believe that it is over 500 years old and originates from the final period of the Aztec Empire. Mexico City was formerly a part of Tenochtitlán, the capital of the Aztec Empire, and archaeologists have previously found similar sculptures here.

Their latest discovery is, in their opinion, exceptional. Approximately 80 percent of the statue's original color has been preserved. Such colors as red, blue, black, and white can be spotted. Erika Robles Cortés, an archaeologist from INAH, clarified in an email sent to Live Science that the colors help to view pre-Spanish art from a different perspective.

The service notes that the Aztecs built temples and pyramids, and worshiped many gods, including Quetzalcoatl. He was often depicted as a serpent, but archaeologists are not sure if the found sculpture represents him.

Related content