Scientist finds Amazon’s legendary BOILING river

This is when Legends turn into reality.

In the Peruvian region of the Amazon jungle, hidden far from society, we find an ancient legend that tells the story of a boiling river, capable of burning any living thing that dares to swim in its waters.

The rivers indigenous name—Shanay-timpishka—means “boiled with the heat of the Sun.”

Now, a scientist has actually discovered the boiling river which according to many was just a myth.

The ‘legendary’ river whose water literally boil is hidden in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon. It was filmed by geophysicist Andrés Ruzo in a geothermal formation in Mayantuyacu (Peru), a mini-documentary produced by the Great Big Story has revealed.

“When I was a child, my grandfather told me stories about a mythical golden city, hidden deep in the Peruvian jungle,” says the scientist, whose childhood went by traveling between Nicaragua, Peru and the state of Texas.

Speaking about his discovery in a TED talk, Ruzo said: “When I saw this, I immediately grabbed for my thermometer. The average temperature in the river was 86 degrees Celsius, not quite boiling but close enough… It’s not a legend.

The river travels a distance of about 6.5 kilometers, measures 25 meters at its widest point and has a depth of up to 6 meters. Despite being relatively far from the nearest volcanic center, its current feeds on the thermal waters of the area, which explains its high temperature.

Screenshot of Andrés Ruzo’s documentary. Credit: Youtube / Great Big Story

According to measurements, the water temperature reaches 100 degrees centigrade. The air above the river is so hot that one can feel it “burning” in the nose and in the lungs.

“It is physically difficult to imagine so much hot water,” says the scientist, adding that “if you put your hand in the river, you would get second or third-degree burns.”

“I have seen many animals fall into the water, all kinds of species, from birds to reptiles,” says Ruzo and warns that “complex organisms like ours” do not withstand such high temperatures, because “we would literally start boiling to the bone.”

The first thing to go are the eyes,” he explained in his TED talk.

Scientists have revealed—thanks to a chemical analysis of the river’s water—that the water in the river originally fell as rain, perhaps somewhere in the Andes.

As the water travels, down into the ground, it is heated up by our planets geothermal energy, and it eventually emerges in the Amazon as a BOILING river.


Featured image credit

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