In 2006, a looter was searching for antiques at an ancient Mayan archaeological site when his hands slipped on the rope that was holding him up and he fell 60 feet to the bottom of a cave. He landed on a pile of human bones.

Ten years later, a study concluded that those bones were remnants of human sacrifices, and most of them belonged to children. Researchers have even connected the pit to an ancient child trafficking ring.

When a looter looking to snag some artifacts fell into this cave, he discovered that the floor was covered with 9,566 human bones. The Belizean Mennonite who rescued the looter named the cave “Mitnacht Schreknis Heel,” which means “Midnight Terror Cave” in the plautdietsch language.

When a looter looking to snag some artifacts fell into this cave, he discovered that the floor was covered with 9,566 human bones. The Belizean Mennonite who rescued the looter named the cave “Mitnacht Schreknis Heel,” which means “Midnight Terror Cave” in the plautdietsch language.

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Researchers at Cal State determined that the pit was created 3,000 years ago. Over a 1,500-year period, 144 bodies were thrown into the cave. Most belonged to children between the ages of six and 14.

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Cut marks on the bodies suggested that they were victims of human sacrifice who were most likely killed in the name of Chaac, the Mayan god of thunder and rain. The Mayans believed that if they offered him human lives, he would end droughts.

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Sure enough, when researchers looked into it, there were eight major droughts in the region during that period in history.

When the teeth were examined, scientists discovered that none of the sacrificed individuals were actually from Belize, which means that the children were likely trafficked to the area.

It turns out that while many cultures believe that gods hang out in the sky, the Mayans believed that their gods lived in caves, which is why they left their offerings in caverns like this one. Unfortunately, when less brutal gifts stopped catching the eyes of this deity, Mayans took far more drastic measures to get his attention.