Watch: Boiling River in the Amazon Kills Anything that Enters It

Written by Sharon Parry
Published: August 9, 2022
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Continue Reading To See This Amazing Video

The Great Big Story YouTube channel has over six million subscribers and shares the most fascinating stories from around the world. This one has caught our eye because it is such an incredible natural phenomenon and one that not many people know about.

The footage follows Andrés Ruzo who is a geothermal scientist and conservationist on his incredible journey into the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. He tells us about his upbringing in Lima and how his grandfather told him about the search for the lost city of gold. Included in that story was an account of a river that boiled that seemed too incredible to be true!

We watch as Andrés travels upriver on his boat and he soon tells us that he can feel that the water and air temperature are rising. This location is in the heart of the central Peruvian Amazon region and looks pretty inaccessible. It is the sort of place that very few people get to visit so we are lucky that Andrés has captured such amazing footage for us to share.

In this incredible body of water, the top temperature recorded by the scientist was 210 degrees F, which is a lot hotter than an average coffee that is only 130 degrees F. That is hot enough to cause second and third-degree burns on human skin. There is evidence of animals falling in and perishing, including birds and reptiles. This is not a river that you would want to take a swim in!

We can almost feel the thick, hot air entering our lungs in this unique landscape. The local name for this river is Shanay-timpishka which means ‘boiled with the heat of the sun’ and the local people believe that it is the location of a powerful Amazonian water spirit. It certainly has the feeling of a sacred place and Andrés Ruzo is clearly very affected by it.

The river maintains its temperature despite the fact that it is not near any known volcanoes or geothermal vents which are the usual sources of heat from the earth. The exact mechanism is not understood but it is thought to be connected to a geothermal gradient. It is likely that rainwater seeps through faults in the earth’s crust where it is heated. Then it is fed back to the surface in hot springs so that an entire length of the river is heated.  

Sadly, this amazing location is under threat from deforestation as are many parts of the Amazon rainforest. That’s why it is so important to take the time to appreciate these natural wonders and do all we can to save them for future generations.

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About the Author

Sharon has a Ph.D. in Public Health but has spent the last decade researching and writing about all things connected with animal health and well being. As a life-long animal lover, she now shares her family home with three rabbits, a Syrian hamster, and a very energetic Cocker Spaniel but in the past she has also been a Mom to Guinea Pigs and several cats!She has a passion for researching accurate and credible information about pets and reviewing products that make pet owners' lives a bit easier. When she isn't checking out new pet products she's trekking around the Welsh mountains and beaches with her dog - although she lets her husband and her three grown up daughters tag along sometimes if they are lucky!

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