A young scientist has made a surprising discovery. Geologist Andrés Ruzo has found the legendary boiling river in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The mysterious river, whose existence is mentioned in a number of legends widespread throughout Peru, is more than 3.5 mi (6 km) long.
The scientist first heard of the boiling river from his grandfather. He told him stories of the cruelty of the Spanish Conquistadors. Amidst the stories of Conquistadors and the last emperor of Peru, the name of the river Mayantuyacu, the boiling river, crept in.
The legend speaks of poisonous water, man-eating snakes and a river that was so hot that it literally boiled any living thing unlucky enough to fall into it.
The grown geologist figured that the existence of a river so hot, with water literally boiling, was impossible, as it would require a tremendous amount of geothermal energy to heat its waters, while the Amazon river basin is far from any active volcanoes.
His assessment was confirmed by a number of other renowned university teachers, coworkers and experts - that such a river could not exist.
But during a family dinner, his aunt told him that the river not only existed but that she herself had bathed in its waters as a child.
In 2011, the skeptical young geologist and his aunt trod into the Amazon jungle in search of Mayantuyacu.
Their expedition was met with success as they found the legendary boiling river but nothing could have prepared them for how hot it was in reality.
The river, reaching 82 ft (25 m) wide and 20 ft (6 m) deep in some areas, was hot to the point where you could literally boil yourself tea with its waters. It's actually boiling bubbles in some spots.
If a person were to put their hand in the boiling river's waters, even for a second, they can get 3rd degree burns. And if they fall in it - death is almost certain.
The high temperatures of the legendary river's waters is due to the concentration of geothermal springs in the region.
Ruzo describes the process, comparing the geothermal springs to hot blood flowing through the veins and arteries of the human body.
He explains that the hot water closer to the Earth's core rises to the surface via cracks, in turn creating geothermal phenomena such as fumaroles, hot springs or in this particular case - a river flowing with boiling water.
Whenever a living creature falls into the Mayantuyacu river, it gets boiled in seconds. First to boil are the eyes, then the skin, finally the boiling water goes into the mouth and boils the internal organs.
One of the big concerns that the young scientist who made the discovery has is that in recent years there has been extensive logging in the area of the river, which has been gradually changing the landscape and may lead to the unique natural phenomenon disappearing forever.