• David D. Holt

Mexico Desert: Zone of Silence

The Zone of Silence (also known as the Mapimí Silent Zone) is a well-known section of the Mexican Desert located close to the Bolsón de Mapimí in Durango. The area is vast, barren, and dry, plus home to Mexican farmers who have lived off the land for centuries. Parts of the Zone of Silence are situated in the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, where there is an important research center dedicated to studying the natural environment surrounding it. The Zone of Silence is so-called as it has been said that travelers can receive no radio signals or other forms of communication.

An increase in the numbers of unproven conspiracy theories dwells among the open plains. With some people claiming that the area is a Bermuda Triangle of sorts, others are convinced that the Zone of Silence has been visited by aliens and contains plants and living organisms that cannot be found anywhere else on earth. To date, such conspiracy theories and myths have been unproven and are factually incorrect. However, despite this, they continue to be circulated, and new ones emerge from time to time.

These unproven myths have given the area much notoriety, and the zone attracts vast numbers of tourists each year.

How does the Zone of Silence affect the lives of the local people?

Humans have inhabited the Zone of Silence for many centuries, mostly livestock farmers or ranch owners. Until the 20th century, locals in the area happily went about their lives, farmed successfully, and were unaffected by the so-called Mexican Bermuda Triangle.

With the advent of countless myths and conspiracy theories, tourism in the region increased, which meant that unemployed locals could become tour guides, open gift shops, and restaurants to cater to them. While the increase in tourism was financially beneficial to some in that tourists spent money on the area, overall, the effect has been negative as most tourists do not have respect for the land, routinely collecting "samples," trampling on grassland, and leaving trash behind.

There have been reports of some tourists trespassing on local ranches and destroying plants meant to be food for cattle. Tourists have also been known to inadvertently interfere with how farms operate, causing farmers to lose money and, at times, cattle.

Does the Zone of Silence have an impact on the local eco-system?

The Zone of Silence contains a world-class research facility that studies the science behind the local eco-system. The scientists working in the facility often find that their research is hindered by the sheer number of tourists in the field. As the years go by and there are more visitors to the area, important plant and micro-organism species are being destroyed, thereby preventing scientists from studying these necessary samples and contributing to humanity.

The fact workers at the research station have never encountered problems with radio signals or sending electronic communication should be noted. However, tourists who believe the various conspiracy theories continue to visit the area slowly destroy the area's fragile, natural habitat.


It has never been proven that the area referred to as the Zone of Silence causes radio signals and other kinds of communication to fail. Despite the swarm of conspiracy theories, scientists still work at the research center. As tourists destroy more of the surrounding habitat, so too will the local farmers' and ranch owners' livelihoods be reduced.






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