50 Interesting Facts about Mexico

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1Great Pyramid of Cholula

Mexico's Great Pyramid of Cholula is the largest monument ever constructed on earth, having nearly twice the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza. A pre-classical masterpiece, it was found to be part of a vast complex of interwoven rooms and temples. Excavations are ongoing.


2. In the early 1990s, the Mexican government sent around 500 of its elite soldiers to be trained as commandos at Ft. Bragg (USA), in order to better combat the rising drug violence in the country. After training, many of the soldiers returned to Mexico, only to start the brutally violent drug cartel: Los Zetas.


3. Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa, who is often portrayed as the epitome of Mexican machismo, never really drank alcohol. He actually was so worried about alcoholism spreading in Mexico, that he banned alcohol from his province of Chihuahua.


4. The Mexican Constitution was the first document in history that said every person has the right to an education.


5. In 1943, a Mexican farmer named Dionisio Pulido had a volcano (Parícutin) start to form in his cornfield. By the early 50s, it was over 400 meters tall. Before being evacuated and leaving his home for the last time, he left a sign that read “This volcano is owned and operated by Dionisio Pulido.”


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6Day of the Dead parade

Mexico City's government was so impressed by the Day of the Dead parade in the film Spectre (2015) that they recreated the event for locals and tourists in 2016; 250,000 people attended the event and it has been annually ongoing ever since.


7. Mexican Racing driver Pedro Rodríguez always traveled with a Mexican flag and a record of the national anthem, because when he won the 1967 South African GP the organizers did not have the Mexican anthem, and instead played the Mexican hat dance.


8. A man named Wenseslao Moguel was sentenced to death by firing squad for taking part in the Mexican Revolution. He was shot 9 times and took one final shot to the head to ensure his death. He survived the ordeal.


9. The most popular version of the Mexican song La Cucaracha is about a cockroach that can’t walk because it doesn’t have marijuana to smoke. This version was sung by Poncho Villa’s troops in battle during the Mexican Revolution.


10. By 1991, the air in Mexico City had become so contaminated with fecal dust from humans that it was possible to contract hepatitis by simply breathing outdoors.


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11Torre Mayor

Torre Mayor in Mexico City is one of the strongest buildings on Earth. It was designed to withstand earthquakes measuring 8.5 on the Richter Scale. Occupants inside at the time of the 2003 earthquake did not even know that a 7.6 earthquake had occurred.


12. Mexican shamans began to use Coca-Cola in their religious rituals to heal worshippers. When PepsiCo discovered this, they offered commissions to shamans for using Pepsi instead. When Coca-Cola began paying too, rival religious groups were formed based on which soft drink they used.


13. In 2000, a Mexican woman named Inés Ramírez was forced to resort to self-surgery, a Caesarean section because of a lack of medical assistance during difficult labor. She took 3 shots of hard liquor, then performed the surgery herself with a kitchen knife. Despite having no medical training, the operation was successful and both she and her baby survived.


14. Magdalena Solis was a Mexican prostitute who was paid to imitate an Incan goddess as part of a scam. She then began to genuinely believe she was a goddess, took over the cult, and started sacrificing her followers.


15. During the excavations for a subway line in Mexico City in 2010, construction workers found 500-year-old skeletons of roughly 50 Aztec children and 10 adults, as well as numerous artifacts dating back to as far as 2000 B.C.


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16Green Angels

The Green Angels is a group of Mexican government-funded roadside assistance professionals. In addition to fixing mechanical problems, they can perform life-sustaining treatments and help tourists seek shelter from crime, among other free services.


17. In the Mexican state of Chiapas, Coca-Cola is easier to find than bottled water. This has led to a diabetes epidemic which increased by 30% between 2013 and 2016. Diabetes is now the second-leading cause of death after heart disease there.


18. In 1907, a Mexican railroad brakeman named Jesus Garcia saved the entire town of Nacozari, Sonora by singlehandedly driving a damaged and burning train containing dynamite six kilometers away from the town before it finally exploded, killing him.


19. Scientists in Mexico turned tequila into diamonds by heating a cheap shot to 800 degrees Celsius. At that temperature, it vaporized and broke down into its atomic constituents, producing a fine layer of carbon crystal structures identical to diamonds on nearby metal trays.


20. In Mexico City, people were offered free wi-fi in exchange for picking up dog droppings and weighing them, thus measuring the amount of free wi-fi given, in an attempt to clean up the city from dog poo.


21Julia Pastrana

A Mexican woman named Julia Pastrana was toured around the world as "the bear woman". When she died in childbirth in 1860 her husband had her embalmed and continued touring. Her remains ended up in the basement of the University of Oslo. In 2013, she was finally laid to rest in Mexico.


22. The Cave of Swallows in Mexico is the largest cave shaft in the world, being almost 1,000 feet wide at the bottom and 1,100 feet deep, and it's home of many birds, but despite its name, almost no swallows.


23. In 2016, an indigenous Mexican woman named María Lorena Ramírez from the Tarahumara community won a 50 km ultramarathon featuring 500 runners from 12 countries while wearing a skirt and sandals made from tire rubber.


24. After an 8.0 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City in 1985, nearly all newborn babies survived a collapsed hospital. They were nicknamed “Miracle Babies” for surviving 7 days without nourishment, water, warmth, or human contact.


25. A Mexican priest became a Lucha Libre wrestler named Fray Tormenta in order to raise money to support the orphanage he founded. When he retired, one of the children from the orphanage took up his mantle so that the legend of Fray Tormenta can live on.

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