Legend has it that the Aztecs were looking for a land on which they could live for a long time, and turned to the god of the sun and war Huitzilopochtli for advice. He, according to legend, told them: look for a rocky place where a nopal cactus stands, on top of it an eagle will sit and devour a snake. After 130 years of searching, the Aztecs still found what they were looking for and founded on this place the great city-state of Tenochtitlan, whose patron was Huitzilopochtli. And an eagle with a snake on a cactus now flaunts both on the coat of arms of Mexico and on its national flag.
When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the capital of the Aztec state, they saw the great city of Tenochtitlan, surrounded by a system of man-made storage facilities created by the labor of generations of inhabitants. Having captured the city and founded Mexico City, the capital of New Spain, on its ruins, the conquistadors were unable to support this system and decided to drain it. It was a rash decision, for which the people of Mexico City are paying the price to this day. Today, the city stands on swampy sands, with water having to be pumped out for the needs of the urban population, and the soil subsiding at a rate of 6-8 inches per year.
Mexico City, with a population of over 8.8 million, has the longest metro in Latin America. In the center of the capital, it is completely laid underground, closer to the outskirts it emerges to the surface. More than 4 million pass through the Mexico City metro every day. Each metro station, in addition to its name, is marked with a very expressive pictographic picture. It is intended for those Mexicans who cannot read, but there are still such people (overall literacy in the country is over 90%).
In the work of transporting passengers, the metrobus comes to the rescue of the metro. This type of transport looks like a two-car bus (remember "Ikarus" - "accordions"?). For his movement around the city, a dedicated lane on the carriageway is often provided. It stops at specially equipped stops and launches passengers through the turnstiles. The first metrobus car is designed for disabled people and women. Why for women? So they don't get pestered by hot Mexican guys.
Most of the small towns and villages in Mexico are built in the same way. The center of the settlement occupies a square area. Here are two of the most important Mexican buildings: on one side of the square is the cathedral, on the other is the building of the local police. The middle of the square is set aside for a park area, a traditional place of recreation for residents. Most of the streets are narrow and therefore have one-way traffic. In two directions, cars move along wide streets, usually called avenues (Avenida).
Now let's turn our attention to natural attractions. Every volcanologist probably knows the name Parikutin. This is a unique volcano - the entire cycle of its life, from birth to death, was documented by people. Moreover, Parikutin was born right in the middle of a farm field, and therefore on February 20, 1943, the farmer and his wife became the first witnesses of this phenomenon. In the first year, the volcano grew very actively, reaching a mark of 336 meters, brought out a lot of lava and ash, under which it buried two nearby villages. In the next eight years, Parikutin lost much of his former ardor and finally died out at around 424 meters.
Jumping beans live in Mexico! They grow on a shrub of the genus Sebastiania. While the beans are ripe, moths have time to lay eggs in them. The larva, hatching from the egg, eats the pod from the inside, and then, in order to hold on, attaches itself to the cavity with silk threads. The larva of this moth is very sensitive to heat - there is a threat of dehydration and death. Therefore, if you take a bob in your hand, she begins to pull the strings - and the bob begins to jump back and forth!
At night, a grasshopper hamster crawls out of its mink on the expanses of the Mexican prairies. Don't look at the name: this nocturnal predator is a mortal enemy for scorpions and snakes! Evolution has made him immune to their poison. It happens that he gets other mice for lunch. Very interestingly, the grasshopper hamster denotes its presence on its territory so that competitors do not wander into it. From time to time, he gets up on his hind legs, directs his muzzle to the zenith and squeaks lingeringly! Neither give nor take, wolf howling at the moon!
In the city of Guanajuato in 1865, a law was passed regarding the dead. In order for their graves to be properly maintained in the cemetery, their relatives had to pay tax to the city treasury. If no money was paid for several years, the body was exhumed. And since the local climate and soil are very conducive to the mummification of corpses, if the deceased turned into a mummy, he was not reburied, but kept for a special collection. The law was canceled in 1958, and during this period in Guanajuato managed to form an exposition for a completely unique museum of mummies, which displays 111 bodies of mummified deceased.
And for a snack - salad. Yes, not just a salad, but the famous "Caesar". The famous dictator of the Roman Republic had nothing to do with him. Caesar was an American by the name of Cardini, an Italian by birth who, 80 years ago, had several restaurants in Tijuana, near the US border, which allowed a cunning chef to bypass Prohibition. Legend has it that on July 4, 1924, in the restaurant where he was cooking, visitors celebrating US Independence Day demanded a snack, and there were almost no food left in the kitchen. It was then that the Caesar salad was invented, whipped up literally from "improvised materials".