Deep in the Mexican jungle lies a previously undiscovered Mayan city unearthed not by teams of archaeologists, but by one fifteen-year-old Canadian schoolboy with an eye for the stars.
William Gadoury had developed a fascination with Mayan culture and all aspects of the ancient civilization after he read about their predictions for the end of the world in 2012. He would spend his time studying maps of constellations and the locations of previously discovered Mayan cities.
He began to realize that the stars and the locations of the temples seemed to be linked together. In fact, he explained in an interview with the Journal de Montreal,
“The most brilliant stars of the constellations matched the largest Mayan cities.” Amazingly, William was the first to make this startling correlation; no scientist had ever made this connection before despite centuries of study.
William had been studying the relationship of 117 different Mayan cities all across the jungles of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico while comparing them to 22 constellations. When he went on to test his theory with the 23rd constellation, he was excited to see that while two stars were linked to cities and temples, one star was unaccounted for.
William used a Google Maps search and pinpointed the possible location of another, as yet undiscovered, city waiting to be unearthed in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
When the Canadian Space Agency consented to search the area with its satellite telescopes, William’s guess appeared to be accurate. The images contained what seems to be a Mayan city with small structures surrounding a pyramid, identical to other ancient cities found previously.
The photos needed to be verified, but if the theory is proven true, the Mayan city will be one of the largest to have ever been discovered. “Linking the position of stars and the location of a lost city and the use of satellite images on a tiny territory to identify the remains buried under dense vegetation, is quite exceptional,” marvels scientist Daniel de Lisle.
William has named the city K’aak Chi, which means Fire Mouth, and he hopes that one day he will be able to travel to the site and see it for himself. “It would be the culmination of my three years of work and the dream of my life,” the teen claims.
Dr. Armand LaRocque is a specialist from the University of New Brunswick. He cautions that the city will not be easy to reach. An expedition to the extraordinarily remote and inaccessible part of Mexico’s deeply forested interior would be hard, and the cost of an archaeological mission would be very high. He explains, “It’s always about money. Expedition costs are horribly expensive.”
Scientists are amazed that such an important and historically significant discovery was made by a young teenager. De Lisle commented, “What is fascinating about the project of William, is the depth of his research.”
William has proven beyond a doubt that sometimes being a stargazing dreamer pays off.