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Monolith of Tlaloc

In Mexico City’s sprawling Chapultepec Park, alongside the Paseo de Reforma boulevard with its endless stream of traffic, stands a monolithic sculpture of the Aztec god of rain. And according to accounts both ancient and modern, this colossal stone carving has supernatural powers: When the sculpted deity arrived in Mexico City, an unseasonal thunderstorm drenched the city for days.

This ancient monolith was discovered in the late-1800s in the neighboring State of Mexico on the outskirts of a town called Coatlinchan. A dry stream bed was being dug up to build an irrigation canal for crops when villagers eventually unearthed the monstrous sculpture. A succession of archeologists proceeded to study the artifact and determined it was an unfinished representation of the goggle-eyed, frog-faced Aztec god of rain and water, Tlaloc. It may have been built by the ancients to secure favorable weather conditions for crops like maize that the population survived on.

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