Mexican President Shares Photo ‘Proof’ of a Mythical Forest Elf


Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says he has photo proof of an aluxe, a mythical creature that — according to Mayan belief — are small mischievous creatures that live in forests and fields and like to play tricks on people.

While the claim may sound like a joke, President Obrador sounds serious about his claim that he posted on Twitter. He says that the visually noisy, dark photo was taken by a train engineer a few days ago.

“I share two photos of our supervision of the Mayan Train works: one, taken by an engineer three days ago, apparently from an aluxe; another, by Diego Prieto of a splendid pre-Hispanic sculpture in Ek Balam. Everything is mystical,” he says, translated.

An aluxe, also spelled “alux” or aluxo’ob, is a kind of elf, sprite, or spirit — depending on how the stories are interpreted — that is part of the myth of the Mayan people from the Yucatán Peninsula and Guatemala. It is also sometimes called a Chanekeh or Chaneque. The mythical creature is often described as small, only about as tall as a couple of feet. The creatures are able to stay hidden because they are supposedly able to become completely invisible, only assuming a corporeal form when they are playing tricks on humans — or scaring them.

The photo of the supposed aluxe that President Obrador claims was taken recently very likely was not, USA Today reports. This is not the first time this photo has appeared, though the Mexican President may be the most high-profile person to share it. The photo was posted a year ago in which it was claimed to have been spotted in Manchester, England. At about the same time, some Mexican news outlets claimed it was a “witch” that was spotted in northeast Mexico. In both cases, it’s clearly the same photo as the one President Obrador says was taken just a few days ago.

It’s not clear if President Obrador actually believes that the photo was taken as recently as last week by a train engineer or if he just shared the photo as part of his history of both belief and reverence for indigenous cultures, myths, and beliefs. USA Today also notes that the train engineer that supposedly took the photo is part of construction for a tourist train that is his “pet project.”