Aluxes are mischievous, faerie-like creatures found in Maya folktales, and are occasionally compared to the elves or leprechauns seen in other folk traditions. While often said to spend most of their time invisible, aluxes do sometimes show themselves. When visible, they appear as hairy, diminutive creatures who stand only a couple of feet tall and have wide, owl-like eyes that sometimes glow red.
However, the image shared by President López Obrador can be traced back much further than three days prior to his social media post.
The purported aluxe image first gained widespread attention two years ago when TV host and radio personality Johnny Martinez tweeted that a person named Juan Pacheco had captured two images of a strange being up in a tree in Terán, Nuevo León.
Mexican news outlets were quick to pick up the story, continuing the narrative introduced by Martinez that the creature might be a bruja, or witch.
Skeptics at the time thought the image was likely a hoax—possibly involving a person wearing camouflage and night vision goggles.