An extrodinary discovery by Sergio Gomez and his team uncovering a river of liquid mercury flowing under the site of Teotihuacan in Mexico.
The city, dubbed the abode of the gods in the ancient language Nahuatl, was once the nucleus of an empire. About 200,000 people are thought to have lived there between 100 and 700 A.D., until its residents mysteriously hightailed it away.
The city remained largely intact, but much is unknown about its people, how life flourished there and who was in the seat of power. Also unknown is whether power was passed down through a dynasty or if the ruler was an overlord.
Upon unsealing the tunnel in 2003, Gómez and his team dug up treasures including jaguar remains, enormous seashells, jade statues and rubber balls. The team in November 2014 discovered three chambers at the end of the tunnel, which had remained intact for about 1,800 years.
In an interview with Reuters, Gómez said the mercury, which may have been used to symbolize an underworld body of water, could possibly lead researchers on a path to a royal tomb long believed to sit underneath Teotihuacan.
The speculation isn’t mercurial on their part: In Mesoamerican lore, reflective surfaces, such as mirrors, functioned as portals into both the future and the river that they believed carries us all after death, the Styx.