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Bats figured prominently into the religious beliefs of the ancient Maya. Independent scientist Maurice Cotterell discovered the image of a bat hidden within the famous Lid of Palenque below. His theory states that the images along the edges of the lid are codes for how the image in the center can be overlaid upon itself to reveal hidden pictures that tell the story of Mayan creation and destruction. The bat most likely symbolizes the death of the great king whose tomb the lid covers.

This is the famous Lid of Palenque, sealing the tomb of Mayan king Lord Pacal.

This is the hidden bat image within the lid image at the top. This shows the bat approaching above and flying away below.