10 Shocking Facts About The Mayans You Never Knew

History, Lists, Shocking, Weird

Everyone knows of the Mayans for their calendar, which is said to foretell the end of the world, despite having been wrong numerous times within the past decade along. The Mayan civilization was one of the most advanced of the time, and they preceded the Aztecs by hundreds of years. Their empire rose and fell multiple times across over two thousand years, but still remains in some form even today. The Mayans are a noteworthy people for their resilience and culture. Here are ten shocking facts about the Mayans beyond the world ending.


Despite the Mayan civilization declining and having been conquered, the culture and language remains in many rural portions of Mexico and Guatemala.


Believe it or not, there are actually around 7 million Maya still living in the world today. Most of them are located around the Yucatan Peninsula.


Many renowned linguists believe the word for “shark” actually stems from an ancient Mayan word.

Body Modifications

Pre-Columbian Mayans often sought “enhancements” for the physical features of their children. Mothers would press wooden boards against the foreheads of their child to ensure a flatter forehead.

Cross Eyed

Another desirable trait of a Mayan child was being cross eyed. Objects were often dangled in front of their face, ensuring the baby’s eyes were crossed. This was a sign of nobility to some.

Happy Birthday!

All children within the culture were named according to whatever day that happened to have been born on.


Mayan medicine was actually quite advanced. The people could suture wounds by using human hair, fill in teeth, and even made their own prosthesis.

Blood Sacrifice

Despite the significant decline of the culutre, some Mayans practice blood sacrifice today. They only practice on chickens, thankfully.


Mayan often made use of natural painkillers, including hallucinogenic plants and drugs, in both rituals and for medicinal purposes.

Mesoamerican Ballgame

Much like the ancient Aztecs, Mayans were quite good players of the “Mesoamerican Ballgame.” Courts were discovered in every single major city, and these games were often associated with sacrifice or the decapitation of the losing team.