We don’t think an A+ is going to cut it for this kid.
Fifteen-year-old William Gadoury has discovered what could be the ruins of a lost Mayan city that dates back 4,600 years. And if you think that’s impressive, wait until we explain how he found it.
The boy, from Saint-Jean-de-Matha, studied 22 Mayan constellations and noticed that, when overlaid on a map, the stars aligned with the locations of 117 known cities. But a 23rd constellation didn’t quite fit. It was made up of three stars, but only two matched the locations of known Mayan settlements.
Confused, Gadoury began studying Google Earth satellite images to see if there was anything laying beneath the location of that third, mysterious star, such as disruptions in the forestry–anything to point to human activity. But when his search came up empty, he turned to the Canadian Space Agency to ask them if they could provide higher-resolution satellite images of the same area. The staff there were quickly impressed by his work.
“They realized this guy was very bright,” CSA project officer Daniel Delisle said.
— CanadianSpaceAgency (@csa_asc) May 10, 2016
We should also add that the entire idea to use stars as a means of locating Mayan cities is a method that has never been attempted before. Gadoury literally pioneered the approach.
Once he had those higher-resolution images from the CSA, Gadoury did indeed find something. It looks like a small, elevated rectangle in the jungle’s foliage. The boy believes it’s a platform for a Mayan pyramid.
Of course, the only way to confirm his findings at this point would be with a ground search. While nothing official has been announced yet, Delisle says the boy is very keen on making one happen.
Besides, who could resist the curiosity of finding out if he’s right?