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Mexican President Shares Photo Of What He Believes To Be A Mythical Maya "Alux" Creature

It doesn't look much like an elf.

James Felton

James Felton

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

James is a published author with four pop-history and science books to his name. He specializes in history, strange science, and anything out of the ordinary.

Senior Staff Writer

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A statue of an Alux, a mythical creature which looks like a tiny human.

A figurine depicting the alux. Image credit: Gary Todd via Flickr (CC0 1.0)

The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (who goes by AMLO), has posted a photo of what he believes to be an "alux"; small mythical creatures believed in folklore to be invisible in general, but that occasionally take on physical form, dressing in tiny traditional Maya clothing when they do so.

"I share two photos of our supervision of the Maya Train works," the president wrote on Twitter. "One, taken by an engineer three days ago, apparently of an alux; another, by Diego Prieto of a splendid pre-Hispanic sculpture in Ek Balam. Everything is mystical."

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Aluxes, often likened to elves, were said to be protectors of Maya villages who would keep you safe for seven years, if you built them a small home. After the time was up, people would seal the small houses to trap the creatures inside, as they would turn mischievous at the end of their contract. 

The photograph was met with more skepticism than AMLO may have anticipated. First off, people pointed out that the photograph in question was not taken last week, but in February 2021, and was attributed to a different area of Mexico.

While it would still be pretty cool to have captured an image of a mythical creature in 2021, there are of course many other reasons to be skeptical. Chief among these is the similarity between what these mythical creatures look like and what a monkey (or gibbon) in the dark might look like. 

New World monkeys, a more likely explanation than "ancient mythical elves are real", are native to South America, making it as far north as southern Mexico.  Another article from 2021 places the photo in Indonesia, significantly widening the type of animal that it could be, other than an alux. 


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