Mexico’s president posted a photo on his social media accounts Saturday showing what he said appeared to be a mythological woodland spirit similar to an elf.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador shared the photo in apparent seriousness and said that the mysterious animal could be an ancient Mayan woodland elf.
He claimed that the image resembled a sculpture from an archaeological site on the Yucatan peninsula.
The poor-quality image, taken at night, shows an unidentified creature with luminous white eyes and long white hair, clinging to the branch of a tree with all-fours.
López Obrador wrote the photo “was taken three days ago by an engineer, it appears to be an aluxe,” adding “everything is mystical.”
However, social media users commenting on the post have suggested the engineer was making it up as the photo had been originally published in February 2021, and had been previously “used in Indonesia, Thailand, and other countries”.
López Obrador has long expressed reverence for indigenous cultures and beliefs. Engineers and workers are in the Yucatan peninsula, constructing a tourist train that is the president’s pet project.
According to traditional Mayan belief, “Aluxes” are small, mischievous creatures that inhabit forests and fields and are prone to playing tricks on people, like hiding things. Some people leave small offerings to appease them.