Has the White City of the Monkey God been found after 500 years? Ruins could be legendary lost jungle city where lurid tales say tribe worshipped a giant simian deity and bred chimp-human children
- National Geographic team ventured into Honduras rainforest to look for the fabled 'White City' filled with gold
- Found white rubble which they believe to be remnants of temples built thousands of years ago
- American explorer in the 1940s said people believed a monkey God raped women and had half-monkey babies
A team hunting for the legendary 'lost city' of Ciudad Blanca in Honduras has made a dramatic discovery of untouched ruins deep in the jungle that are thought to be thousands of years old, according to National Geographic.
Researchers believe the complex of plazas, mounds, a pyramid and dozens of artefacts belong to a civilization which was blooming thousands of years ago and then vanished without a trace.
It prompts the tantalizing possibility that they have found the lost civilization known as the White City, which as been the subject of local rumors among tribes people and Spanish explorers around the la Mosquita area of jungle in Honduras for hundreds of years.
Some people call it the White City Of Gold, after ancient texts described ivory temples filled with treasure - and western explorers first made reference to it from conquistador Hernando Cortes to King Charles V of Spain in 1526.
Since then countless adventurers have scoured the jungle for the ancient civilization, rumored to have enjoyed treasures beyond the wildest dreams of many budding Indiana Jones'.
One such adventurer even suggested that the city was in fact known as the White City of the Monkey God, and saw an ancient civilization worship a giant simian deity, symbolized by a large statue.
Theodore Morde, writing of his adventures in US magazine The American Weekly, said that local tribes people told him of the monkey worshiping civilization and went on with even more outlandish suggestions that a monkey from the city. Locals even told him that one 'monkey god' from the city kidnapped a local woman and bred half-human, half-chimp children. The children were then hunted for revenge.
Local tribes people also reportedly related the same story to an anthropologist, according to a Honduran media report.
Morde said that local people told him of a huge monkey temple inhabited by a civilization known as the Chorotegas, and claimed to have fond evidence of such a place on his expedition in 1939-40. But Morde never revealed the location of his alleged find and killed himself in 1954.
Scroll down for video
A sign of history? This block of stone could be a remnant of a temple built in the Lost City of Honduras thousands of years ago
Incredible: The aerial shots taken by National Geographic show luscious forestland where the City Of The Monkey God once thrived
However, despite archaeologists' following attempts to detect man-made structures - whether they be from Ciudad Blanca, The White City of the Monkey God or elsewhere - have been unsuccessful. Until now.
Traveling into uncharted territory last month, a National Geographic team found the mounds of white rubble in the shape of a monkey's skull that experts believe to be thousands of years old.
The National Geographic's Douglas Preston wrote: 'The tops of 52 artifacts were peeking from the earth. Many more evidently lie below ground, with possible burials.