Having discovered the “lost city” located in the Honduran rainforest back in 2015, a team of archaeologists, along with best-selling author Douglas Preston, travelled to the newly discovered “Lost City of the Monkey God” in January of 2017. Using scientific methods, the team conducted surveys of what they discovered, and left the site for a later excavation. Along with their survey findings, the team managed to contract a flesh-eating disease! This disease may have caused the locals to believe the place was cursed, and led to its abandonment in the 16th century. Perhaps the curse of the Monkey God was still in full affect. For more on the story continue reading below;
Jungle explorers contract rare flesh-eating disease among ruins of ancient lost ‘City of the Monkey God’
Ciudad Blanca abandoned by residents in 16th century when they thought it was cursed
A group of explorers and archaeologists were struck down by an aggressive tropical disease which eats through the face while uncovering the mysteries of a legendary lost city in Honduras.
The team, including best-selling novelist Douglas Preston, were exploring the previously untouched ruins of Ciudad Blanca, also known as the ‘City of the Monkey God’, which were fully excavated last year in the middle of the jungle.
The ruins have been dated between 1,000 and 1,500 AD, and are thought to contain many valuable artefacts buried beneath thick foliage. A new laser mapping technology was used to analyse the jungle floor in search of ruined settlements.
Archaeologists believe Ciudad Blanca was deserted by its residents in the 16th century because they thought it was ‘cursed’ by disease. The area was conquered by Spanish explorers in 1520 who had heard the city contained great wealth, and brought diseases with them.
The team took a cameraman along with them and survived multiple attacks from venomous snakes during the course of their dangerous expedition.
They said they had particular trouble cutting their way through the dense trees of the Mosquitia rain forest, on the border of Honduras and Nicaragua, and stumbled on some ruins by chance.
However they concluded that the site could not be excavated at that time, and waited for intervention by the Honduran government.
Upon their return Mr Preston and his colleagues discovered they had contracted a virulent strain of Leishmaniasis, a disease transferred by sand flies which can eat through the face, and needed urgent hospital treatment. All members of the crew survived the disease unscathed.
“The parasite migrates to the mucous membranes of your mouth and your nose, and basically eats them away,” Mr Preston told CBS News. “Your nose falls off, your lips fall off, and eventually your face becomes a gigantic, open sore. It’s just too dangerous. Getting in and out of the jungle is dangerous.”
In January last year, the excavation site was visited by Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, who said: “We are blessed to be alive at such a special time in Honduran history. This discovery has created a lot of excitement because of its significance for Honduras and the world.”
Artifacts excavated from the ruins will be displayed in a museum in the municipality of Catacamas.
CURSE OF THE MONKEY GOD
Explorers find ancient lost city in the Honduran rainforest – only to get mystery life-threatening illness that can make your FACE fall off
Team including a best-selling author catch debilitating disease after finding ‘cursed’ city
A TEAM of explorers set out to discover an ancient city lost to the ravenous jungle hundreds of years ago — but may have unleashed the curse that drove out its ancient inhabitants in the first place.
Best-selling author Douglas Preston travelled with a team of archaeologists to uncover the secrets of the City of the Monkey God, a mysterious metropolis hidden deep within the 20,000 sq. mile rainforests of Honduras in Central America.
Inhabitants of the town had fled to escape horrific diseases they believed were brought on by a heavenly hex hundreds of years ago.
And for Preston and his brave team — who had to fight through spitting snakes, venomous insects and dense jungle to reach the city — the Monkey God’s curse may have struck again.
The best-selling author, 60, was one of many in the team to find he had caught a debilitating illness that can eat a human’s FACE from the inside out, CBS reported.
Preston became fascinated with the story of the mysterious city, also known as The White City.
It was deserted in the 16th century when its citizens believed it had become cursed.
But in fact it was the appearance of European settlers who brought with them disease and slavery that led to the city’s downfall.
For hundreds of years it was left to rot in the thick Mosquitia rainforest, the dense jungle that blankets the border between tropical Honduras and Nicaragua.
It became completely lost, with knowledge of its existence being kept alive only through folklore and local legends.
Dozens of brave Indiana Jones-figures took the task of rediscovering the fabled White City, including swashbuckling professor William Duncan Strong in 1933, but all efforts were in vein.
That is, until now.
With the help of modern technology and plenty of research, Preston along with explorer Steve Elkins assembled an exhibition to lift the lid on the lost metropolis.
They hired a Cessna plane fitted with high-tech laser imaging equipment to scour the region.
Their eureka moment came when photographs from the search showed a series of structures, with one having a perfect right-angle.
“They were either man-made or the world’s most intelligent gophers were out there, doing things they’d never done before,” filmmaker Bill Benenson, who documented the expedition, said.
After struggling through the jungle to reach the area, they were at first disappointed that nothing appeared to be there.
But that’s because the overgrowth was so thick that it nearly completely hid the ancient structures.
It was only the following day that one of the team noticed an odd-shaped stone poking out of the flora.
“We all came back and the first thing I saw was a jaguar head coming out of the ground, carved in stone, snarling”, Elkins said.
Such was the discovery that the President of Honduras removed the artefact for himself.
It was this act that some believe may have brought the wrath of the Monkey God.
Several of the expedition team got home only to realise they had contracted the face-eating parasitic disease Leishmaniasis.
“The parasite migrates to the mucous membranes of your mouth and your nose, and basically eats them away,” Preston explained.
“Your nose falls off, your lips fall off, and eventually your face becomes a gigantic, open sore.”
It’s the risk of catching this disease, among the other myriad dangers, that could prevent a follow-up expedition from happening any time soon.
“It’s just too dangerous,” Preston said. “And just getting in and out is dangerous.”
It seems that the Lost City of the Monkey God could keep its secrets for a while yet.
What is Leishmaniasis?
Leishmaniasis is a flesh-eating disease caused by parasites that are spread through bites from certain types of sandflies.
It can produce ulcers on the skin and inside the mouth and nose as it attacks mucus glands. There are about 2 million new cases of the disease across around 98 countries every year. It is most common in Asia, Africa, South and Central America and southern Europe. Between 20 and 50 people die from the disease every year, according to the World Health Organization.