In 1546, a group of conquistadors led by Francisco de Orellana stole the Skull along with other valuables from Akator. On the journey back to their ship, however, the Skull psychically persuaded Orellana to return it to Akator, and the resulting argument with his countrymen led to their murder at Orellana's hand. Shortly thereafter, Orellana himself died, and Skull was buried with him in his tomb near Nazca.
The Skull was the obsession of Harold Oxley, who intensely researched its connection to the Peruvian legend of the City of Gold.
Powers and physical makeup
The Skull was incredibly magnetic, even attracting metals (such as gold) that were not magnetic by nature. The Skull also had psychic properties, including the ability to communicate on a primitive level with people who stared into its eyes for a prolonged period. These powers also affected non-humans—Oxley used the Skull to divert an army of siafu intent on attacking him and Jones.
Behind the scenes
The Skull serves as the title MacGuffin at the heart of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The Skull was a practical prop created by Stan Winston studios, with some versions outfitted to physically "glow" from the eyes. The prop that is carried around throughout the movie is actually of a different size than that attached to the head of the crystal skeleton at the end of the film. Director Steven Spielberg claimed nobody would notice.