Maya Underworld: The Real Doomsday- Web Facts

Video highlights from Maya Underworld: The Real Doomsday


•    The geology of the Yucatan Peninsula is made up almost entirely of limestone. This karstic shelf is dissolved easily by rainwater which over time has formed caves and sinkholes.

•    At the end of the Pleistocene epoch – around 12,000 years ago – planet Earth experienced great climatic changes. A dramatic rise in sea level was caused by the melting of ice caps. This flooded the lower lying coastal areas and cave systems. Many of these cave systems had once provided animals and humans shelter. After humans started cave diving remarkable finds were made in these caves.

•    Cenotes- Pronounced suh-NO-tays comes from the Maya word “dzonot”, meaning abyss.

•    The Maya town of Chichén Itzà ,whose name means “the mouth of the well of the Itza,” played a role in Maya civilization for around 800 years with the height of its power being from 900 AD to 1150 AD. However, it remained a major religious pilgrimage site until the mid-16th century.

•    The sunsphere is an NGT developed deep sea underwater light that is the first ever LED omni-directional light of its kind, built to sustain depths of 6,700 meters.  

•    The 17 inch diameter battery-powered sunsphere can dissipate 1.3 kilowatts, or up to 140,000 lumens of light from 20 LED lights glued around the inside surface of the sphere. This is a similar quantity of luminous flux to 165 household 60watt incandescent light bulbs.

•    The biggest challenge NGT Remote Imaging engineers faced in the development of the sunsphere was determining how to dissipate 1,300 watts of heat energy through a half inch thick glass shell, which acted as more of an insulator than a conductor.  Everything grows and shrinks with temperature change, so gluing the (heat expanding) lights directly to the glass sphere with a rigid compound would crack the glass, as discovered in the first attempt. However mixing extremely fine aluminum dust into the silicon glue did the trick, providing the right amount of flexibility to the expanding electrical units inside as well as conducting the heat directly through the glass sphere.

•    The LED lights used in the sunsphere were the first of their kind, purchased from a solid state lighting company the week they were released, before they were ever marketed.  Original electronics and software had to be developed and implemented by the Remote Imaging engineers to work with these brand new lights. The 20 LED drivers operate at 95% efficiency.

•    The first sunsphere took about 2 months to design and build and was tested at a YMCA pool before being deployed on its first Nautilus expedition at Kolumbo volcano in Greece.

•    Across southern Mexico and northern Central America there are 31 different Maya groups – each with their own dialect.

•    The Dresden Codex is first mentioned to the public when the Director of the Royal Library at Dresden – Johann Christian Götze – acquires the codex in 1739 from a private owner in Vienna. Five years later it was given to the Royal Library where it has remained.

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