As I’m traveling I often come across things that surprise me. My usual response to these instances can usually be summed up as “huh, I did not know that.” So in honor of these times when I actually do some learnin’, I present the first series here on WHDIGH, “I Did Not Know That“.
While I was in Mexico City basically almost everything that I experienced could fall under “I did not know that.” I was clueless as to most of what Mexico City was about or had to offer. In fact, I almost skipped the capital of the country until a price for a flight came along that was too good to pass up.
As I began researching the city before my departure I became increasingly excited about going. The amount of museums alone could occupy your time for weeks! As an American all I had heard about Mexico City previously was the amount of pollution and the massive population. So, all in all, I guess I wasn’t that hard to surprise.
I did not know that almost the entirety of the city was built on top of a lake. Mexico City started out as an island and was expanded by the Aztecs and all of the following rulers until nearly all of the lake was drained! There only remains a sliver of the lake that once filled up most of the valley.
Because of being built upon a lakebed this creates several problems. For one, Mexico City is SINKING! While I was on a day tour I saw some quite striking visual evidence of this phenomenon.
Another problem presented by being built on top of a lake is flooding. In the 17th Century one flood left the city submerged for FIVE YEARS!!! Not five hours. Not five Days. Not five months. FIVE YEARS!!!
I mostly travel for the enjoyment. However, when I travel I cannot help but learn new things. It is learning things like this while traveling that I find fulfilling. Perhaps this is why many people value travel so highly. It is the most fun way to learn that I can think of!