Mexico’s President has been mocked for sharing a snap said to show a traditional pixie-like spirit perched in a tree.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, 69, used social media to post a photograph taken by a railway worker which is said to show an alux.
The woodland spirit – which dates back to ancient Mayan times – is apparently seen perched in a tree with bright spots of light for its eyes.
He also shared a snap of an ancient pre-Hispanic sculpture.
The President said: “I am sharing two photos of our supervision of the Mayan Train works: one, taken by an engineer three days ago, apparently of an alux; another, by Diego Prieto of a splendid pre-Hispanic sculpture in Ek Balam.
“Everything is mystical.”
Alux are believed to be woodland sprites – similar to pixies and leprechauns – that play tricks to frighten humans.
Local media, though, were a bit more sceptical of the photo.
They speculated that the night-time photo may in fact show a tree with a bent branch forming what appears to be a halo of hair.
The alux’s eyes are dismissed as a pair of stars in the night sky.
Netizens also mocked the President, with ‘elnocturno’ saying: “Yes, Andres, an engineer three days ago took a photo that has been doing the rounds in Nuevo Leon since February 2021 and in Thailand since December of that year.
“You are sad, very sad… and the country even more… If you believe it, you are stupid… if you know you are lying, you are malicious…”
While ‘gloriadavila90’ said: “Well, I hope the aluxes take revenge for the great ecological damage that you are doing. Have you heard the story of the Cancun airport bridge? I hope they appear on your useless train.”
And ‘AguileraSports’ said: “This is the level of president they wanted and there he is making a fool of himself every day. Impossible that they want to defend him.”
Engineers and workers are in the Yucatan Peninsula, building a tourist train route that is one of the President’s pet projects.
The Yucatan Train project, also known as the Tren Maya, has been met by fierce resistance from celebrities and environmental activists.
Greenpeace says that environmental impact studies need to be carried out to determine if the 1,500-kilometre (950-mile) route poses a threat to the Yucatan rainforest.
Some of the celebrities who have voiced opposition to the project include comedian Eugenio Derbez, singers Ruben Albarran and Natalia Lafourcade, as well as actress Kate del Castillo.