Some Mexican trivia today.
“Mexican Trivia for $
The largest wildcat in North America, the Jaguar / Photo: Flickr/Tambako The Jaguar
Impress your friends with some little known facts about Mexico
- There is a Mexican tamale called the zacahuil. It is three feet long and weighs about 150LBS. Reservation for one, please!
- A spectacle of color, sound and energy occurs each year when as many as one billion Monarch butterflies migrate from eastern Canada and the U.S., making their journey to Mexico’s Michoacan Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, a trip that encompasses over 2,500 miles. They arrive in late October and spend their winter hibernation clustered in the reserve.
- Not sure whether Johnny Cash’s song is related to this tidbit, but Mexico is located in the “Ring of Fire,” one of the earth’s most violent earthquake and volcano zones. I went down, down, down and the flames went higher…
- The border between Mexico and the United States is the second-largest border in the world (only the U.S.-Canadian border is longer). Masons, get your trowels, string lines and brushes ready.
- An unusual Maya weapon was a “hornet bomb,” which was an actual hornet’s nest thrown at enemies during battle. Hoping their enemies had the epinephrine ready.
- Aztec descendants speak a language called Nahuatl. Some of its words or variations are used in English, including: tomatoes (tomatl), chocolate (chocolatl), avocados (ahuacatl), coyote (coyōtl), guacamole (āhuaca, avocado and mōlli, “sauce”), mesquite (mizquitl), mezcal (mexcalli, meaning over-cooked agave) and my favorite, the word shack (xahcalli, grass hut).
- The largest wildcat in North America is the jaguar. It can be found in Mexico’s southern jungles, and not often encountered during daylight hours.
- Giving me the heebie-jeebies is the fact that snakes appear repeatedly in Mexican mythology, from the serpent god Kukulcan (found on the side of the Chichen Itza pyramid) to the feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl.
The red poinsettia, named cuetlaxochitl by the Aztecs, originated in Mexico and is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico (1820s)