Cave of the Jaguar God
Play • 30 min

Crawl into the Maya underworld, where science meets spirits, shamans, and snakes. A long-forgotten cave could shed light on one of history's most enduring questions: why did the ancient Maya collapse? For more information on this episode, visit

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See the incense burners, plates and grinding stones found in the Cave of the Jaguar God.

Learn how Guillermo de Anda uses ground-penetrating radar and other high-tech tools to investigate Chichen Itza.

Read about jaguars and their place as the divine feline in Mesoamerican cultures.

Also explore:

Travel inside the world's longest underwater cave system -- spanning 215 miles underneath the Yucatan Peninsula.

What can you find inside the longest underwater cave? Remains of ice age giant sloths and an ancient relative of the elephant.

Check out more of Guillermo's work through the Great Maya Aquifer Project.

If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to to subscribe today. 

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