Researchers came across a “tremendously rich biodiversity” thriving in a scientifically undiscovered rainforest in Central America, which was also home to the “Lost City of the Monkey God” centuries ago.
Some of the species found were originally thought to have been extinct in the region. Researchers reportedly credit centuries of disattention by humans after the indigenous people left the ancient “lost city” that once stood there, as the reason why the rainforest is beaming with life.
No one knew of a separate civilization that lay in parallel to the famous Mayan civilization in the region. Known as the “lost city” it is unknown why the civilization tarnished over a thousand years ago, according to National Geographic. Archeologists believe it’s not just a “lost city” but probably a whole “lost civilization” lurking beneath the largely untouched rainforest of South America.
The Findings in the Lost City of the Monkey God
Located in Central America, the dense tropical forest of La Mosquitia is one of the largest and most scientifically isolated pieces of land of its kind in the continent. In 2012, using the LIDAR (light detection and ranging) mapping technique, archeologists discovered the ruins of an ancient mesoamerican “lost city” beneath the greens which was unknown to mankind. In 2015, an expedition was launched to study the site in-person and a lot was found.
Since the discovery of the “lost city” researchers have been scouring the rainforest for more of the city ruins until recently they made amazing discoveries: rich biodiversity comprised of hundreds of species thriving in the untouched depths of the rainforest. And the more good news? Some of the species found were thought to have extinct, BBC reports.
River Plátano crisscrosses the rainforest that stretches from eastern Honduras to north Nicaragua, a whopping 865,000-acre. Up to 50m tall trees (25-30m average) make the forest largely inaccessible and researchers have to use helicopters and hack their ways to reach the depths covered in thick foliage. Watch CNN reporting the finding 4 years back.
In 2017, enviornment coservation group Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program in association with the Government of Honduras launched research to catalog the biodiversity in the rainforest. The findings included 22 species of plants and animals. Three animal species -the pale-faced bat, the fake tree coral snake, and the tiger beetle were found, which were previously thought to have extinct from the region.
Apart from the unexpected discovery, hundreds of other species like butterflies, amphibians, fishes, mammals, and reptiles were noted. Plus, the rainforest was found to be a haven for cats like puma, jaguar, ocelots, margays, and jaguarundis, according to reports. The land is so isolated, National Geographic noted animals in the rainforest might have never seen humans before.
Just like other natural resources, La Mosquitia – a massive greenhouse gas absorber – is also threatened by illegal activities like cattle ranching. The forest is partially guarded by the Honduran military. Given the remoteness of the site, the archeological site was absolutely untouched when it was discovered.
Isn’t such news amazing to know? What do you think about it? Let me known your thoughts in comment below.
(Cover image is for representational purpose only)