1960: The Mapuche people of Chile blamed earthquakes on a monster serpent that lived in the ocean and came out from time to time to shake its tail. On the afternoon of 22 May, the serpent violently shook its tail; the most powerful earthquake of the 20th century struck southern Chile.
The inhabitants of the coastal community of Lago Budi feared that it was literally the end of the world. They rushed frantically to a nearby hill, but even there they weren’t safe, as a series of tsunami swept in from the Pacific and threatened to wash them away.
A Mapuche shaman allegedly warned the terrified population that only a human sacrifice could appease the angry serpent. A 5-year-old boy was brought to the hill, his arms and legs severed, and the trunk of his body thrust into the sand, facing the ocean.
Source: Patrick Tierney, The Highest Altar: The Story of Human Sacrifice (1989), pp. 98–109, 132–4, 172–3, 177