As a victim of Aztec human sacrifice, you could expect to have your diaphragm pierced with a flint knife, your still-beating heart torn out, your entrails fed to animals, your head stuck on a post, and your lifeless body thrown down the temple stairs.
As if that wasn’t enough, it appears the last thing you heard before you died was EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
That’s according to Roberto Velazquez, a 66-year-old mechanical engineer who says he has been able to recreate the sounds made by many Aztec noisemakers found at archeological sites. One such noisemaker, the Whistle of Death, emitted a cacophany of high-pitched whistling as you were ushered to your bloody demise:
The modern-day archaeologists who came up with the term Whistles of Death believe they were meant to help the deceased journey into the underworld, while tribes are said to have emitted terrifying sounds to fend off enemies, much like high-tech crowd-control devices available today.
Experts also believe pre-Columbian tribes used some of the instruments to send the human brain into a dream state and treat certain illnesses. The ancient whistles could guide research into how rhythmic sounds alter heart rates and states of consciousness.
Among Velazquez’s replicas are those that emit a strange cacophony so strong that their frequency nears the maximum range of human hearing.
Velazquez played the instruments live on television recently, and while Simon and Randy both hated it, Paula thought it sounded “like it was made of chocolate doo-doo pops in a heaven factory of candy canes dumptruck football aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh.”