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Boiling River in Amazon Jungle Powered by Hot Spring, Not Sun Rays

Image: Boiling River in Amazon Jungle Powered by Hot Spring, Not Sun Rays
(Twitter/@NatGeo)

By    |   Monday, 04 Apr 2016 10:30 AM

The Amazon's boiling river in Mayantuyacu, Peru, largely remains a mystery after its first scientific study, but a few answers have been unlocked, said one of its chief researchers.

According to Science Alert, Peruvian geoscientist Andrés Ruzo, who said he has been transfixed by the river since childhood, stated that it boils not because of the sun, as legend has it, but because of a fault-fed hot spring.

The river's indigenous name, Shanay-timpishka, means "boiled with the heat of the Sun," but its actual characteristics can be described with the human body.

"Imagine Earth like a human body, with fault lines and cracks running through it like arteries," wrote Science Alert. "These 'Earth arteries' are filled with hot water, and when they come to the surface, we see geothermal manifestations - like the boiling river. …. This means the system is part of an enormous hydrothermal system, the likes of which haven't been seen anywhere else on the planet."

Ruzo wrote a book, "The Boiling River: Adventure and Discovery in the Amazon," and developed a TED talk about his research, according to Gizmodo.com.

"Up to 82 feet wide and 20 feet deep, the river surges for nearly four miles at temperatures hot enough to brew tea or cook any animals unfortunate enough to fall in," wrote Gizmodo. "And yes, a small portion of it is so hot that it actually boils. There are documented hot springs in the Amazon, but nothing nearly as large as this river."

Ruzo is now continuing his geothermal study of the river and is working with microbial ecologists to examine the extremophile organisms living in its scalding waters. The website said the study could give some insight into how life started on Earth — back when the planet was much hotter.

Ruzo's study was funded by a National Geographic Young Explorers grant, noted Science Alert.

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The Amazon's boiling river in Mayantuyacu, Peru, largely remains a mystery after its first scientific study, but a few answers have been unlocked, said one of its chief researchers.
boiling, river
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2016-30-04
Monday, 04 Apr 2016 10:30 AM
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