Children aren’t the only ones who believe in magical creatures; some high-ranking political figures do too. Last weekend, Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, shared an image of a mysterious-looking creature that he described as an “Aluxe.” In Mayan folklore, an Aluxe is a woodland spirit, according to AP.

A Picture Worth 1000 Tweets

López Obrador, 69, posted a side-by-side picture of two images on Twitter with the caption: “Les comparto dos fotos de nuestra supervisión a las obras del Tren Maya: una, tomada por un ingeniero hace tres días, al parecer de un aluxe; otra, de Diego Prieto de una espléndida escultura prehispánica en Ek Balam. Todo es místico.”

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

The intriguing image on the left, taken at night, shows a tree with what appears to be some kind of creature with glowing hair and eyes. To the casual observer, it looks like an unidentifiable animal, such as a monkey or racoon. To those who subscribe to indigenous beliefs, such as López Obrador, it looks like an elf. The engineer from the Mayan Train Project took the photo in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Internet Goes Wild

Many internet users mocked Obrador’s post, and Mexican novelist Mauricio Schwarz tweeted two-year-old screenshots of the identical photos, which were shared in 2021. He wrote: “Das pena, mucha pena… y el país más… Si te lo crees, eres tonto… si sabes que mientes, eres malévolo… (You are sad, very sad… and the country even more… If you believe it, you are stupid… if you know you are lying, you are malicious…).”

According to Ancient Origins, Mayan tales of little people known as Aluxes have been passed down in Mexico for generations. These spiritual creatures are mischievous and known to cause mayhem and destruction. Humans don’t usually notice them unless a playful Aluxe chooses to become visible.

Cultural Origins

The knee-high sprites are described as having owl-like eyes and may have body parts of other animals, such as iguanas, deer, or macaws. They’ve also been described as appearing sprite or fairy-like or as dark shadows with glowing red eyes. Aluxes live in a variety of places on the Yucatan Peninsula, including forests, fields, and caves. They’re not too picky about their habitat as long as they have food, water, and shelter.

According to Indian Express, while construction work was being undertaken in the area, shelters were allegedly built specifically for Aluxes. The intent was to welcome the creatures, so they could prevent any mishaps from occurring on the project.

In 2010, local Mayan leaders were disturbed that an Elton John concert was being held close to Mayan pyramid Chichen Itza. When a stage collapsed prior to the performance and three people were injured, they blamed Aluxes. Mayans lived on the Yucatan Peninsula and other parts of Central America from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D. Their descendants still populate the area, many of whom carry on the traditions of their ancestors, from the clothing they wear to the food they grow and the religion they follow.

By Noelle Talmon, contributor for


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