El Caracol Mayan Ruin -
Hurricane Early Warning Site?
El Caracol (the snail) at Punta Sur dedicated to the moon goddess Ixchel is further evidence of Mayan brilliance--if interpretation of the site is correct.
Built between 1200 and 1400 A.D., El Caracol apparently was built by the Maya to signal the approach of hurricane.
El Caracol acted as a whistle when strong winds funneled through the seashell. That sound would warn the people to prepare for bad weather and alerts about the impending storm would also be sent to the mainland.
A fascinating concept except that storms don't always come from the same direction.
In any case, the ruins are in the Parque Punta Sur Ecological Reserve, which has a US$10 entrance fee that includes El Caracol and other attractions.
Interesting to think this could be the New World's first long-range hurricane forecasting instrument.
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