The Aztec Death Whistle. If hell has a sound, I bet it sounds alot like the Aztec Death Whistle. The Aztec Death Whistle sounds like a shriek of death mixed with howling wind. It’s so unnerving, that the significance of the horrifying sound of the Aztec Death Whistle has fascinated and perplexed scholars for years.
I’m going to play the sound of the Aztec Death Whistle for you today.
When Spanish conquistador Cortés and his men arrived in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán in 1521, they described witnessing a gruesome ceremony. Aztec priests, using razor-sharp obsidian blades, sliced open the chests of sacrificial victims and offered their still-beating hearts to the gods. They then tossed the victims’ lifeless bodies down the steps of the Great Temple known as Templo Mayor; in Mexico City.
Andrés de Tapia, also a conquistador, described two rounded towers flanking the Templo Mayor made entirely of human skulls. And between them, a *huge* wooden rack displaying thousands more skulls with holes bored through either side to allow them to slide onto the wooden poles.
Reading these accounts hundreds of years later, many historians dismissed the 16th-century reports as wildly exaggerated.
*But* over just the past few years, archeologists working at the Templo Mayor excavation site discovered *proof* of widespread human sacrifice among the Aztecs. And the proof was *none other* than the very skull towers and skull racks that the conquistadors had described centuries ago.
So these reports were true. What else did history get right?
Human sacrifice was an integral part of the Aztec religion. As it was for many other societies in the New World, including the Maya. One of the central beliefs of the Aztec world was that Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun, needed constant nourishment in the form of human blood. Blood was seen as the sacred life force that was needed to keep the sun moving from east to west across the sky. Without human sacrifice, the world would end.
Throughout human history, the rise of ritual sacrifice often coincides with the emergence of complex societies and social stratification. It’s a pretty effective method of intimidating rivals and keeping your own people in line. Just look at the gladiator battles of Imperial Rome or the mass burials of servants and captives alongside Egyptian pharaohs and Chinese kings.
Experts have revealed that a terrifying noise would have accompanied the grisly ritual and it was emitted by skull-shaped whistles.
The Aztec Death Whistle has been described as sounding like humans howling in pain, or as one researcher said, the ‘scream of a thousand corpses’.
Let’s find out why.
00:00 – What does the Aztec Death Whistle sound like?
00:27 – Logo
00:31 – Aztec ceremonies
01:24 – Towers of skulls
01:54 – Proof of human sacrifice discovered
02:18 – Human sacrifice as part of Aztec religion
03:09 – Sacrifice was common around the world
04:27 – The Death Whistle sound
05:49 – Intimidating enemies
06:22 – What is the whistle?
07:06 – Sound analysis
07:51 – Hecklefish tries a Death Whistle
08:13 – Other resonators discovered
08:38 – Curing illness with sound
09:14 – Vibroacoustic Sound Therapy
09:30 – Ancients cultures were like us
09:58 – Thanks for watching!
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