Temple of Kukulkán, Chichén Itzá, Mexico

Kukulkan temple Chichen Itza

At dawn on the equinox, the light falls just right so the side of the step rail at the Temple of Kukulkan is illuminated in a series of triangles meant to look like the snake is crawling down the pyramid. We weren't here for the spring equinox, and the Mexican authorities won't let you onto the Chichén Itzá site until well after dawn, so photographing the effect without special permission is out of the question. But, perhaps with this shadow, you get the idea. It's amazing to me that the Mayas could orient the pyramid just so the effect would happen anyway. Sometimes, you have to use your imagination…and the internet.

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