The Waldemar Julsrud Museum in Acámbaro, Mexico holds a massive collection of crude figurines that believers say are proof that ancient humans not only rode dinosaurs, but made contact with even more unbelievable creatures. Unfortunately, they are incorrect.
The story behind the Acámbaro figures is nearly as fantastical as the figures themselves: a humble German immigrant named Waldemar Julsrud, who in 1944 was working as a shopkeeper in Acámbaro, randomly discovered one of the figures while he was out riding, and after hiring a local farmer to look for more at the rate of one peso per find, ended up unearthing another 32,000 figures in the area.
Many of the figures were of humans, but an even larger amount of them depicted bizarre creatures. Creationists rallied behind the finds, believing that they were clear depictions of known dinosaur species. Some were also clearly dragons, and some are even seen as UFOs.
Despite the claims of Julsrud and his supporters, who insisted that the figures were clearly ancient, likely belonging to some lost civilization, even cursory analysis of the collection determined that they were created in the 20th century. A number of elaborate justifications were presented as to why the figures could not be accurately dated using the methods of the day, but in the end, the collection was proven to be a hoax.
Nonetheless, many diehard believers and Fortean thinkers still believe that the figures represent a much more interesting view of history than reality presents. The collection is now displayed in Julsrud’s former home where you can go and decide for yourself whether we once rode dinosaurs.