In the early 1500's when Spanish navigators were exploring the coast of what we call the Yucatan Peninsula, they saw well-constructed buildings and went ashore. The native Mayan Indians came out to greet them.
The explorers asked in Spanish what the Indians called themselves. The Mayans had never seen Spaniards before or heard their language. They only spoke their own Mayan tongue.
The Indian replied, "Ci-u-than." In Mayan, it meant, "I don't understand you."
The Spaniards misheard the Mayans. They thought they had answered that the place was called, "Yucatan." Thus, the Yucatan Peninsula, the region of Mexico containing Cancun, got its name.
It makes you wonder how many things we take for granted as being true are based on misunderstandings.