The world’s most brilliant minds might have missed it, but this 15-year-old Canadian kid has managed to accurately locate a previously unknown ancient Mayan city, hidden deep in the Yucatan jungle of southeastern Mexico, without having to leave his house. William Gadoury, a high-school student from Quebec, has now named his discovery ‘K’aak Chi’, which means ‘Mouth of Fire’.
It all started three years ago, when William read about the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world in 2012. That obviously didn’t happen, but his interest in the subject didn’t wane and he soon realised that the ancient Mayan people always built their cities far away from rivers, in inhospitable mountain ranges. Wanting to find the reason behind this, he looked up to the sky for answers, because he knew that the Mayans had worshipped stars. And it wasn’t long before he recognised a pattern – all their cities were built to line up with star constellations.
By analysing 23 Mayan star constellations, William figured out that when connected, the 142 stars indeed corresponded to the locations of 177 Mayan cities. No one had pieced together such information before. But he was stuck on the 23rd constellation because he could only find two cities to match its three stars. That’s when he realised that there had to be a Mayan city that had not yet been discovered. His research now had a new mission – to find that lost city.