Shanay-Timpishka, The Boiling River

A tributary of the Amazon River, Shanay-Timpishka or La Bomba is also known as the only boiling river in the world. Four miles of the river range in temperature from 113 degrees Fahrenheit to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

This river is located in Peru, in the province of Puerto Inca, near the ancient pilgrimage area of Mayantuyacu[1]. The deepest part of the river is about 20 feet and it’s about 82 feet wide. Until 2011 this river was thought to be a legend until located by Andrés Ruzo, a young Peruvian with a passion for geology.

Following the stories of his grandfather and a map provided by some of his colleagues from the Peruvian government, he managed to find the boiling river, proving that “the river that kills” really exists.

The river is not near any volcanoes or hot springs causing it to be somewhat of a mystery. This is a place that has remained intact and unspoiled for a long time, but today is threatened by wild deforestation and the exploitation of natural resources. National Geographic has described it as an entirely natural feature: a non-volcanic, geothermal feature flowing at anomalously high rates. The lead theory of the heat is that it’s caused by the geothermal gradient of the Earth.

Being closer to the Earth’s mantle, underground water tends to be of a higher temperature than surface water. The theory is that rainwater falls onto the surface of the Amazon Rainforest and finds deep-rooted faults where it travels down into the crust.

The water is thus heated in accordance with the geothermal gradient. It is then likely fed to the surface of the Earth through fault-fed hot springs that act to heat up the river along its stretch.

  1. Mayantuyacu is a healing retreat in Puerto Inca Province, Peru. Located near Pucallpa, the Mayantuyacu sanctuary covers 180 hectares of the Amazon rainforest. In the Asháninka language, Mayantuyacu means “the water and the air”. According to the local guides, “Mayantu” refers to the spirit of the jungle, and “Yacu” refers to the spirit of the water. The retreat was established by Juan Flores Salazar, an Ashaninka traditional healer (vegetalismo). He was born into a family of traditional healers; he states that he found Mayantuyacu to practice plant therapy and pass on the traditional knowledge to future generations. His healing techniques involve tobacco, bark, natural fragrances, and ayahuasca. [Back]


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Author: Doyle

I was born in Atlanta, moved to Alpharetta at 4, lived there for 53 years and moved to Decatur in 2016. I've worked at such places as Richway, North Fulton Medical Center, Management Science America (Computer Tech/Project Manager) and Stacy's Compounding Pharmacy (Pharmacy Tech).

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