49 Surprising Facts About Mexico You Definitely Didn’t Know

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26Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula

Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has no rivers, lakes, or streams. The Maya relied on the flooded mouths of underwater caves, called cenotes, for all of their freshwaters.


27. On October 2, 1968, 5000 soldiers surrounded and opened fire on 10,000 students, bystanders, and children in Mexico City. They were protesting government actions and previous incidents just weeks before the Olympic Opening Ceremony in Mexico City. The body count is still argued to this day.


28. A Mexican drug lord named Carrillo Fuentes tried to get plastic surgery to avoid capture but died during the operation. The bodies of his surgeons were found mutilated and encased in concrete four months later.


29. The "PPDG" penthouse in Guadalajara, Mexico, has a toilet with a glass floor looking into a 15-story elevator shaft. The building used to be an old Mexican colonial building and was supposed to have 2 elevator shafts. The second elevator was never installed.


30. In 1982, Mexican President José López Portillo made a speech asking for forgiveness over his mistakes as President and the economic crisis. He famously broke in tears during his speech after asking for the forgiveness of Mexico's poor. This passionate speech, however, did little to repair his image, and he remains one of the most unpopular Mexican presidents in recent history.


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31Giant crystal cave

The Giant crystal cave in Mexico, with crystals weighing up to 50 tons, has an average of 100% humidity and 58°C temperature. This means that the coldest place in the cave was the lungs, so water would condense in it, and exposure for over 10 minutes would lead to death by drowning.


32. In 1983, a Mexican electrician inadvertently spilled thousands of cobalt 60 pellets in Ciudad Juarez, which eventually made their way into two foundries and contaminated 3,000 tons of steel, causing one of the worst nuclear accidents in North American history.


33. In Mexico, there are over 115,000 taco places, meaning that, on average, every Mexican has a taco place 400 meters (0.2 miles) away from them.


34. In the Kantemo Caves in Mexico snakes hang down from the cave ceiling to catch and eat bats.


35. Mexico had its first black president 180 years before the United States. Vicente Guerrero, who was one of the leading fighters for independence from Spain, was of half-African descent and later became the 2nd president of Mexico, abolishing slavery during his brief presidency in 1829.


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36Gilberto Bosques Saldivar

A Mexican diplomat named Gilberto Bosques Saldivar rescued 40,000 people, mainly Spaniards and Jews, who wanted to flee Nazi-occupied France during World War 2. His heroism remained unknown to the world at large for some 60 years.


37. A man named Don Julian Santana in Mexico hung thousands of dolls and doll parts from trees to please the spirit of a girl he found dead on an island (Isla de las Munecas) which has now been nicknamed the “Island of the Dolls.”


38. Mexican President Francisco Madero has the distinction of being the first head of state in the world to ever fly in an airplane, which he did with the Wright Brothers in North Carolina on November 30, 1911.


39. During the Torreón massacre over 300 Chinese immigrants were killed by the Maderistas during the Mexican Revolution. Some Chinese were saved by people like Hermina Almaráz, daughter of a Maderista leader, who told soldiers “they could enter the house over her dead body.”


40. Mexican General Santa Anna had an elaborate state funeral for his amputated leg. Ironically, soon after the funeral, his new prosthetic leg was seized by Americans as a war trophy and is still on display at the Illinois State Military Museum.


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41Álvaro Obregón

Mexican President Álvaro Obregón had his right arm blown off. The blast nearly killed him, and he attempted to put himself out of his misery and fired his pistol. Obregón always wore clothing tailored to show that he had lost his arm in battle, a visible sign of his sacrifice to Mexico.


42. Mexico’s presidential palace is 14 times larger than the White House and opened its doors to visitors for the first time in 2018


43. There is a floating island called "Spiral Island" in Mexico that was destroyed by Hurricane Emily in 2005. It was rebuilt in 2008 and is made of plastic.


44. December 23 is “Night of the Radishes” in Oaxaca, Mexico. Artisans across the city carve oversized radishes to depict scenes (traditionally nativity scenes) for visiting crowds.


45. Mexican singer Chalino Sanchez received a death threat telling him to stop singing at his last concert on May 15, 1992, but he continued singing despite the warning. He was killed later that night in Culiacan, Sinaloa.


46La Familia Michoacana

La Familia Michoacana is a Mexican drug cartel whose organization is based on a perceived divine right to kill its enemies and a “bible” written by one of the leaders that fuses evangelical preaching with insurgent peasant sayings.


47. In Mexico, they have a term for bad teeth, Dientes Ingles, which translates as English teeth.


48. Carlos Salinas de Gortari, former Mexican president, murdered his 12-year-old maid, Manuela, with a shot in the head when he was 4-year-old.


49. Mexico’s first football (soccer) team, Pachuca Athletic Club which was formed in the 1800s comprised exclusively of Cornish born players after a lot of Cornish people moved to Mexico for the mining industry.

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