List of Mexican inventions and discoveries

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Mexican inventions and discoveries are objects, processes or techniques invented or discovered, partially or entirely, by a person from Mexico. These also include concepts or practices introduced by Mexican people and their indigenous ancestors. Some of the objects, processes or techniques developed in the Pre-Columbian era were also invented or discovered independently in other cultures. This list shows only inventions and discoveries first introduced in present-day Mexican territory, or those that vary significantly in concept, figure, or use.


  • Chinampa: Invented in central Mexico around 600 CE
  • Popcorn: First invented by the Zapotec and later introduced to Hernan Cortes by the Aztec[1]
  • Rubber ball: Before 1600 BCE by the Olmec for uncertain purposes and later used by the Mayan and Aztec for ball games.
  • Mesoamerican ballgame: Played differently by the Mayan and the Aztec, it is believed to be one of the first ball games, if not the first.
  • Chewing gum ancient Aztecs used chile as a base for making a gum-like substance and to stick objects together in everyday use. Women, in particular, used this type of gum as a mouth freshener.
  • Processing of rubber latex as rubber: Although vulcanization with heat or sulfur was neither known nor practised, mesoamerican peoples used the juice of the morning glory vine to similarly cross-link raw rubber and make it usable.[2]
  • Balloons: Invented by the Olmec.
  • Universal education: The Aztecs were the first civilization known to have introduced compulsory education for both boys and girls.[3]
  • Pulque
  • Tobacco smoking[4]
  • Sauna: The temazcal was the first ever sweat lodge, used by many cultures in Mesoamerica.
  • Compass (possibly): Olmec had advanced knowledge of magnets. The discovery of a hematite artifact has led many experts to believe that Olmec invented the compass 1000 years before the Chinese did, although some still are not convinced.[5]
  • Molcajete
  • Metate
  • Chocolate: Believed to have been invented by the Olmec from cocoa beans, both the Mayan and the Aztec drank it hot, thus creating the hot chocolate.
  • Guacamole: The name comes from an Aztec dialect via Nahuatl āhuacamolli [aːwakaˈmolːi], which literally translates to avocado puree.





  1. ^ [1]. Aztec History. Retrieved February 2015.
  2. ^ Deborah Halber (July 14, 1999), Rubber processed in ancient Mesoamerica, MIT researchers find, MIT News
  3. ^ [2]. Top 5 Ancient Aztec Inventions. Retrieved February 2015.
  4. ^ [3]. Manufacturing: A Historiographical and Bibliographical Guide. Retrieved February 2015.
  5. ^ [4]. Lodestone Compass: Chinese or Olmec Primacy?. Retrieved February 2015.
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of the American West. Retrieved February 2015.
  7. ^ [5].Chronicles of Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Manuel Villagómez, TIA and Tortilla Topics
  8. ^ [6].Food reference, 2017.
  9. ^ [7]. Vision learning