On the right hand of the highway from Mérida to Izamal sits a rather odd sight.
Peering beyond the overgrown bush of a large fenced-off lot are several gigantic colorful fantasy figures. Among them, an elephant, a dinosaur, and a lady who could perhaps be a mermaid.
At first glance, the scene is reminiscent of a creepy theme park, or perhaps something out of an ‘80s horror movie.
But upon further inspection, the figures of exotic animals and scantily clad men and women wearing masks remind one of a familiar celebration – Carnaval.
The rails protruding from these figures lay credence to the idea that these are in fact discarded Carnaval floats from years past.
A quick internet search for terms such as “elephant Carnaval float Mérida,” seems to support this suspicion.
In an attempt to try to figure out what exactly it was I was looking at, I yelled out ¿Buenas, esta alguien por ahí? – Hello, is anyone around? But to no avail.
Neither could I find a phone number, name, or another clue out in front of what I was now dubbing in my own head as an abandoned Carnival graveyard.
It occurred to me that these Carnaval floats were perhaps placed in this lot for storage. But if this was indeed the case, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that they have remained there for longer than expected, as two Carnavals have come and gone without any parades.
The first Carnival in Merida is thought to have been celebrated as early as 1578. In the 20th century, the event ballooned in popularity with the inclusion of parades featuring decorative floats and large groups of scantily clad dancers.
If you happen to know the story behind this Carnaval graveyard, please drop us a line on Instagram @YucatanGram. We are just itching to get to the bottom of this.