Deep in the heart of the Amazon, legends tell of a river so hot that it boils from below.
It’s incredible to think there are natural wonders on this planet not yet known to science, but such was the case for the river at Mayantuyacu.
The book entitled The Boiling River: Adventure and Discovery in the Amazon is a true story of discovery, adventure, science, and mysticism, told by a man who was driven to explain something impossible, and is now on a quest to preserve it.
Here the legend: After Spanish conquistadors killed the last Inca emperor, they headed deep into the Amazon rainforest in search of gold. Few of these men would ever return, but those who did spoke of a waking nightmare—poisoned water, man-eating snakes, starvation, disease, and a river that boils from below, as if lit by a great fire.
And here the science: The river turned out to be no legend at all, but the sacred geothermal healing site of Mayantuyacu, nestled deep in the Peruvian rainforest and protected by a powerful shaman.
Up to 82 feet (25 meters) wide and 20 feet (six meters) deep, the river surges for nearly 4 miles at temperatures hot enough to brew tea or cook any animals unfortunate enough to fall in. 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.
That must be an exceptional site to visit. A place to save from illegal logging, mass tourism.