Into The Jungle

Using LiDAR, the most high-tech laser technology ever devised, UH engineers and researchers are leading an international effort to unearth Honduras’ storied Lost City of the Monkey God. It may seem like a plot stolen from ‘Indiana Jones,’ but it’s quite real. It’s a game changer for archaeology. And deadly.

THE PILOT DROPPED Juan Fernandez in the only jungle clearing large enough to land a helicopter, a tiny opening in an impossibly thick tropical canopy that stretched as far as the eye could see. As the sound of the rotors receded into the distance, the young University of Houston engineer followed his machete-toting survival guides deep into the shadowy Honduran rainforest. Fernandez, 40, had never been to this particular patch of jungle before that day in February 2015. But something about it felt oddly familiar. With unease, he realized it reminded him of a movie he’d seen in which scientists discover the ruins of a lost city in a remote African jungle — and are then hunted down and killed by a pack of giant gorillas.

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