21 November 2011. Filed under category Travel.
The Sun Pyramid at Teotihuacán

The Sun Pyramid at Teotihuacán

Teotihuacán is a UNESCO world heritage site located an hour’s drive from Mexico City. Towering over the archaeological site are two enormous stone pyramids. The Moon pyramid is the, relatively, smaller of the two and stand at the beginning of the Avenue of the Dead, a broad street lined with stone houses and temples. Walking down the avenue you pass the Sun pyramid to your left. If passing this pyramid, you quietly think to yourself, “Wow! That must be the second largest pre-Colombian pyramid in the new world,” then you would be spot on and a little weird.

Continuing down the Avenue of the Dead you eventually learn the origin of that name as you step over the rotting corpses of dead tourists who succumbed to thirst and exhaustion. If, at the furthest end of the avenue, your blistering feet haven’t given up yet, then you can visit the third and final pyramid: the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. This is a much smaller pyramid, but what it lacks in size it makes up in decoration. (Trust me; not having to climb another giant pyramid at this point is a blessing.) The side of the pyramid features two kind of stone faces, both resembling snakes. The guide said something about river spirits, but at this point, the ringing in my ears drowned out any attempt of his to educate me on this topic.


The origin and purpose of Teotihuacán is unknown. The Teotihuacánians didn’t have an alphabet and thus were unable to tweet sarcastically about their boss’s stupid reasons for wanting yet another pyramid.

Clever archaeologists have dated the earliest buildings at Teotihuacán to about 200 BCE (Before Christ Emerged). The Sun Pyramid was completed by 100 CE. Sometime between the 7th or 8th century, something went badly wrong. There are traces of destroyed and burnt buildings, and whatever happened seems to have been the end of Teotihuacán as the place to be and be seen.

The lack of facts around the rise and fall of Teotihuacán has left the field open to people with too much free time to make up crazy and unfounded stories. Some even claim that aliens built the pyramids. I find that ridiculous. If alien architects, able to charter an inter-galactic space ship, came to earth to build monuments, surely, they would choose better construction materials than stone. Or did they perhaps fly here in their stone space ships?

I think not. It is much more likely that the aliens parked two flying saucers high above the ground for a rest stop. The Teotihuacánians saw the space ships and, thinking that they were the chariots of the gods, they began building the pyramids to reach the two hovering saucers. In contrast with the alert Jehovah, the aliens didn’t notice and didn’t strike down these towers of babel for the simple reason that they were sleeping. The planet they came from (Nezahualcóyotl or some crazy name like that) has a several century long night time. So they slept while the humans both completed the pyramids (at 100CE) and then guessed the door entry code (~850 CE). It seems reasonable that a civilization advanced enough to conquer space travel would also have perfected the art of intuitive technology, and thus it was easy for the Teotihuacánians to take control of the space ships and leave earth. What they hadn’t accounted for, however, were the powerful jets required to leave earth’s gravity well. Those jets are why parts of Teotihuacánians was burnt and destroyed at the same time the population disappeared. At least, they are in this theory, which in my opinion is much more plausible than the one where aliens come to earth to play with stone Lego.

The Tower of Babel

The tower of Babel is a story from the Bible where a united humanity decides to build a tower to heaven. God came down to see what they did and said, “They are one people and have one language, and nothing will be withholden from them which they purpose to do.”

Now, if I was a celestial God and the children I created turned out not just to get along but be all-powerful in their unity, I’d be pretty proud. If they then turned their ingenuity to come home and visit me, I’d be ecstatic! Not the Judeo-Christian God. He shattered humanity’s one language and our ability to work together.

Lesson learnt. We may have the free will to attempt anything, but if we chose to go beyond our confines, we get this treatment.

Luxury Friends

I am dedicated to a life of minimalistic spending, where every penny is cared for and nothing is spent in vain. However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the fruits of luxury if it falls on my head. This happened this weekend when my friends Anthony and Yaron visited me in Mexico City. Because of Anthony’s connections in the hotel industry, we were treated to the full VIP experience with champagne reception in our luxury suite, little sweet gifts throughout the day, delicious breakfasts and free drinks at clubs with personal waiters making sure our tequila glasses were never empty.

Anthony and Yaron, thanks for one wicked weekend!


Have you ever been probed by aliens?

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  1. MB says:

    Yes, I agree your theory is much more plausible.

  2. Craig Brown says:

    I think I was probed by a type of alien in a matter of being, but I won’t go into that here.

    LOL at your last paragraph! Hmm, I would like to think my freaky imagination has inspired you…but I think we always had this in common. One thing IS strange though…and I’m not advocating the alien idea…and that is how civilizations sprang up almost simultaneously in the Far East, the Mid East and the New World in relation to the length of homo sapien’s history on earth. (Which would be more than 6000 years in my strong personal belief).

  3. Doug Burns says:

    However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the fruits of luxury if it falls on my head.

    Thank goodness for that! Otherwise I’d have to leave you outside if I ever happen to be having a fun night out in the same city as you.

  4. Erm, have you ever thought of a career as a sci-fi or fantasy writer? Think J.K. Rowling, who undoubtedly sweats money now thanks to her vivid imagination!

  5. Nicholas McInerny says:

    Loving reading about your travels, Gustav, and have just watched Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, about the Mayan civilisation. Very powerful, beautiful and brutal.

    Burning Man parallels too on some level. A wierd resonance.

    Greetings from a grey London – Nicholas and Mikhael.

  6. Brother Henrik says:

    Ja du broder hadde dom haft en äkta Ljungbymaskin på den tiden och tillräckligt med byggmaterial hadde bygget varit enkelt 😉

  7. Jon says:

    The Judo-Christian God? Is that the God of ninja crusaders?

    1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

      Thank you for catching that. Updating…

    2. Imogen says:


  8. Rod says:

    Gustav, have you tried the Teotihuacana cuisine around the site? did you find any alien speciality? ;o)
    I guess you do know that the pyramids weren’t built completely in one occasion… these people used to build a small pyramid, and after a time they built another pyramid on the first one… according to their religious beliefs. That’s why the temple of the feathered snake, Quetzalcoatl, is kind of covered by another pyramid…. well, whatever! maybe the aliens only sent the plans to build the pyramids… I’m glad you enjoyed the visit!

  9. BrotherMichael says:

    re: and thus were unable to tweet sarcastically about their boss’s stupid reasons for wanting yet another pyramid.

    I spit my milk across the table when I read that.

  10. Joel Oswaldo says:

    Woooow, thats amazing, congratulations Gustav for three reasons:
    1. You really studied about Teotihuacán (believe me, I´m specialist in mexican´s art history, and i know Teotihuacan is one of the biggest mysteries in this country).
    2. Your theory about the name “calzada de los muertos” (avenue of the dead)is hilarious but the bad thing is that it seems correct.
    3. Your absoluelty new theory about the construction of the pyramids, i think it is indisputable.
    Now my little knowledge contribution:
    1. The nahuatl name (non teotihuacanian)of the stone faces resembling snakes is: Quetzalcóatl, (serpiente emplumada) and is one of the main gods of many precolombian cultures.
    2. Nezahualcóyotl is not only the possible name of the pyramids builder´s planet. He was a aztec king (tlatoani) (1402-1472 CE LOL)he loved nature, arts and was a great poet. An example of his work (in spanish, is good for you):


    Yo, Nezahualcóyotl lo pregunto:
    ¿Acaso de veras se vive con raíz en la tierra?
    Nada es para siempre en la tierra:
    Sólo un poco aquí.
    Aunque sea de jade se quiebra,
    Aunque sea de oro se rompe,
    Aunque sea plumaje de quetzal se desgarra.
    No para siempre en la tierra:
    Sólo un poco aquí.

    1. Gustav, the Modern Nomad says:

      I was wondering how long it’d take for someone to spot that Nezahualcóyotl wasn’t just me typing out random letters. 🙂

      That is a beautiful poem and strangely appropriate as I previously described going nomadic as uprooting oneself.

  11. Yaron says:


    I’m so so proud of you!! It was awesome visiting Mexico and hanging our with you and Anthony at this crazy but fun city:)
    This is by the way a confirmation that I DO!! read your blog.. and enjoying it.
    Brandon and I hope you will find your way back to NYC next year to visit us again and in the meantime – enjoy every day and keep the stories flowing..


    1. Craig Brown says:

      So on MY visit Yaron, Gustav got promptly sick and bedridden for a day. I was thus inspired to follow your lead to Teotihuaca and it was one awesome day too! I thought I might be lonely by myself, but the guide was excellent company and smart. For anyone reading this blog and going through Mexico City, I actually liked this better than anything I saw in the city, except, of course, for my nomad friend.

  12. Awesome shots (and story)… I will be heading there in a couple of weeks, glad I came across this post 😀

Have you ever been probed by aliens?

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