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Peruvian Diver Left Looking Like a Balloon After Rising From the Depths Too Fast

Alejandro Ramos Martínez, a seafood diver from Pisco, Peru, recently made international headlines after a terrible accident left him looking like a human balloon. He apparently rose from a depth of 30 meters too fast, which caused the nitrogen in his blood to form giant bubbles that adhered to his muscles, leaving him looking deformed.

Martínez’s unusual case was featured on Peruvian TV show “Cuarto Poder”, where doctors were left stunned by the horrifying effect of the nitrogen pods on the man’s physical appearance. Decompression sickness, also known as ‘the bends’, causes nitrogen to come out of solution and form bubbles in the blood and tissues. In mild cases, symptoms include unusual fatigue, dizziness, nausea and joint pain, but in rare cases it can also cause paralysis or even death. The deforming effects it has had on this Peruvian diver are believed to be unique

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Peruvian Family Claims Possessed Doll Has Been Terrorizing Them for Years

A seemingly harmless doll has been dubbed the “Peruvian Annabelle” after the family that owns it claimed that they have been terrorized by it for the last seven years.

In a YouTube video that recently went viral, the Nunez family, in Callao, Peru, explain that they have witnessed various paranormal events connected to “Sarita”, a blonde, blue-eyed doll that they received seven years ago. Mother-of-three Ivonne Nunez said that it was a gift from a niece that has since died, and even though strange things started happening soon after the girl passed away, she just couldn’t bring herself to throw away the doll. It’s the last thing reminding her of her niece and sister-in-law, the latter of which reportedly took her own life in the same house they live in today.

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Mysterious Boiling River in Peru is So Hot It Boils Animals Alive

There is a mysterious river flowing deep through the Amazon rainforest in Mayantuyacu, Peru, that can literally boil small animals almost instantly. While water temperatures along the 6.4-km-long river range between 50 and 90 degrees Celsius, in some parts almost reaching the boiling point of 100 degrees. That’s hot enough to cause third-degree burns in a matter of seconds.

The local Asháninka people have known about the mysterious Boiling River for centuries, referring to it as ‘Shanay-timpishka’, which translates to ‘boiled with the heat of the sun’. Ancient legend has it that the hot water is unleashed by a giant serpent named Yacumama (mothers of the waters) and a large boulder shaped like a serpent’s head lies at the river’s headwaters, as a testimony to the primitive tale’s veridity.

For the rest of the world, however, this natural oddity was just that – a legend. Apart from a few references dating back to the 1930’s there was no scientific documentation of the boiling river and most geologists simply dismissed its existence based on the fact that it would take huge amounts of geothermal heat to boil entire sections of a river, which would be impossible because the Amazon basin is located 400 miles away from the nearest active volcano. Except for a few tourists who visit Mayantuyacu each year to experience the traditional healing methods practiced by the Asháninka people, the civilized world was oblivious to the existence of a real boiling river.

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Cliffside Capsule Hotel in Peru Offers Stunning Views, Is Not for the Faint-of Heart

The Nature Vive Skylodge hotel, in Cusco, Peru, is made up of three transparent capsules attached to the side of a cliff, 1,312 meters above the beautiful Sacred Valley, once the heartland of the Inca Empire. Reaching this unique hotel is an adventure in itself, but once inside the pods, thrill-seekers can enjoy a stunning view of this natural paradise.

Each of the three 24×8-foot hanging capsule suits are built from an aerospace-grade aluminum frame and weather-resistant polycarbonate. Furnished with four beds, a small dining area, and a separate bathroom, the rooms can accommodate up to eight people. The transparent walls allow visitors to enjoy an almost 360-degree view of the Sacred valley, while four ventilation ducts let in the fresh mountain air. High quality mattresses, cotton sheets, down pillows, quilts and curtains for privacy are provided to ensure your your stay is as comfortable as possible.

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Controversial ‘Wall of Shame’ in Peru Separates the Rich from the Poor

Everyone talks about the gap between the rich and poor, bit nowhere is this barrier more clear than Lima Peru, where a 10-kilometer concrete wall topped with barbed wire separates one of the cities richest communities from one of the poorest.

Located on the outskirts of Lima, the Wall of Shame’, also nicknamed ‘Peru’s Berlin Wall’, was erected to provide protection to the wealthy by preventing the poor from entering their neighborhood to commit crimes. It is so long that it can actually be plotted as a line on a satellite view of the area. The line separates Las Casuarinas, home to some of the nation’s richest citizens, from the suburb of Vista Hermosa, where the vast majority lives in poverty, without even the most basic amenities.  “The wooden houses illuminated by candles and the broken roofs are contrasted by multi-million pound houses within a few kilometers,” a local media news station recently described the situation.

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Smart Billboard Produces 100 Liters of Drinking Water a Day Out of Thin Air

Researchers in Peru have teamed up with an ad agency to provide a viable solution to the problem of potable water shortage in Lima, the world’s second-largest city in the world. Their  creation is a s simple as it is ingenious – a billboard that turns air humidity into drinking water.

Located northern edge of the Atacama, the driest desert in the world, the city of Lima and its surrounding villages get around 0.51 inches of precipitation per year. For a long time, the capital city has relied on drainage from the Andes mountains and runoff from melted glaciers for its potable water needs, but due to climate change, the water supply from both sources is on the decline. Out of the 8.5 million people living in Lima, 1.2 million lack running water completely and have to either draw water from wells, which is known to be polluted, or rely on unregulated private-company water trucks, which charge u to 20 time the normal price of tap water. Aware of this dire problem, Lima’s University of Engineering and Technology started looking for a way to solve the problem and, at the same time, draw the attention of applicants for 2013. Inspired by the fact that the city’s average air humidity is about 83%, due to its location along the Southern Pacific Ocean, UTEC partnered with advertising agency Mayo DraftFCB to create an eye-catching billboard that produces water out of thin air.

Lima-water-billboard

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The Guinea Pig Festival of Huacho Has Rodents on the Menu

It’s funny how a cute and furry pet in one part of the world can be considered a delicacy in another. But that’s exactly what guinea pigs are in the small town of Huacho in Peru. In fact, they have a whole festival dedicated to dressing up and cooking the hairy rodents – The Festival of the Guinea Pig, or as the Peruvians call it, the Cavies.

As a part of the festival that has been around since the mid-2000s, guinea pigs are dressed up as kings, miners, peasants, traditional folk singers and also in modern costume for fashion shows. There are prizes for best costume, so every effort is made to impress judges during the show. As cute as they may look in their little outfits, it’s disturbing to know that sometimes, in an effort to make the costumes stay on the guinea pigs, the people of Huacho do not hesitate to use staples. Prizes are handed out for the biggest, fastest, best-dressed and even the tastiest animal of all. Because once the parade is over, it’s time to eat the models! The guinea pigs are taken out of their costumes and cooked in various ways, like baking, frying, or roasting on an open flame. The locals love their cavies served whole on a plate – complete with the heads, guts, paws and even claws. Garnishes include tomatoes, cucumbers, Andean potatoes, and large Peruvian corn calledchoclo. And the best way to eat the animal, according to the Peruvian folk, is to pick up the entire guinea pig and simply suck the meat off the bones. A single dish of whole fried or baked guinea pig with all the garnishes costs approximately $7. According to festival visitor, Juan Rojas, “Guinea pig meat is very nourishing and contains lots of vitamins and other things.” Native to the high Andes, the meat of guinea pigs is considered to be low in fat and an important source of protein.

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The Floating Man-Made Islands of Lake Titicaca

The people of Uros, a small South American tribe in Peru, have made living arrangements for themselves that are so unique, they’re not found anywhere else in the world. These people live most of their lives on man-made floating islands? The islands were created on Lake Titicaca in Peru, for the protection against other stronger tribes. The lake is the largest by volume in South America, and provides ample protection by itself since it is completely isolated and located about 3000 m above sea level.

But the Uros people were apparently not satisfied with the protection of the lake alone. They went one step further to ensure their safety, making good use of the reeds that grow in abundance along the banks of the lake. The reeds proved to be a malleable material, so they were dried out, bundled and shaped into boats that float very well. This natural material also made it possible for the ancient Uros to create a system of floating domiciles that could be quickly moved away from the mainland in case of any emergency, called the tortora islands. Today, about half the population of the Uros about 500 individuals), still prefer to live in this age-old manner. Of course, they’ve renovated their floating islands to include some modern amenities as well.

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Peruvian Smoothie Stand Sells “Delicious” Frog Juice

A counter-top restaurant in Lima, Peru has been selling fresh frog juice for the last 15 years, and some locals drink it every day because they say it gives them strength.

There’s nothing like a glass of fresh juice in the morning, right? Peruvian restaurant owner Carmen Gonzales would agree with this 100%, only she has a different kind of juice in mind – frog juice, For the last 15 years she and various other juice stand owners have been serving her Jugo de Rana to locals and tourists brave enough to try it, and business is better than ever. She sells about 80 frog-based drinks every day, and some of her clients have them as breakfast drinks, early in the morning, because it gives them energy for the entire day.

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Takanakuy – The Fighting Festival of Peru

For most of us, Christmas day is a time of celebration and togetherness, but for the people of the Chumbivilcas community, near Cuzco, it’s the perfect opportunity to get into a fight.

Takanakuy, which means “when the blood is boiling” in Quechua, one of the oldest spoken dialects of Peru, is an annual celebration that gives people the chance to solve personal differences with members of their community the old fashioned way, through violence. The yearly festival, which takes place every December 25th, is an indigenous tradition that has a lot to do with family honor, reputation and distrust in the judiciary system. Takanakuy is viewed by many as the only way to put problems behind them, before New Year’s.

On the day of the festival, participants (men, women and children alike) gather in the local bullring, where they engage in a bare knuckle fight, supervised by local authorities who act as referees. Men mostly stick to punching, but in women’s matches kicking is very popular and while contenders don’t seem to be holding back much, injuries are rarely reported. Fighters are not allowed to hit their opponents while they’re down, and they risk getting whipped if they forget about this important rule.

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Peruvian Inventor Paints Mountain White to Restore Glacier

Eduardo Gold, a Peruvian inventor, came up with the ingenious idea of painting the mountain peeks in white to restore the glacier on Andes mountains.

It seems that this phenomenon is due to global warming and Eduardo Gold’s idea is based on a very basic principle stating that if  solar light is reflected onto a white or light colored surface it goes back into the atmosphere,thus preventing the excessive heating of the ground. In the last years alone, Chalon Sombrero peak has lost almost 30% of its glacier.

Gold is not only willing to solve this problem, having painted 2 hectares in 2 weeks, but has also found a way to get financial help. This idea won him the prize in the “100 Ideas to Save the Planet” competition, for which he submitted at the end of 2009. The prize, awarded by the World Bank, is of about $200.000 (£135.000).

There is one more important thing to be mentioned : The paint he uses is a mix of ecological ingredients like industrial egg-white, water and lime.

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The Mysterious Scissors Dancers of Peru

Performed in the central and southern highlands of Peru, the Scissors Dance is a traditional event that tests the physical and spiritual strength of the participants.

Westerners usually regard “La Danza de las Tijeras” as a physical test where two men have to prove their dexterity and resistance to pain, but to the people of the Andes, this dance is a sacred ritual. The dancers, called danzaq, perform difficult stunts and leaps, called atipanakuy, accompanied by the music of a violin, a harp and the sound of the scissors they each hold in their hands. So much about not playing with scissors, right?

The origin of the danzaq and their Scissors Dance is shrouded in mystery, but some anthropologists believe they appeared in 1524, during the rebellion against Spanish colonial rule. According to old Spanish chronicles, Huancas (pre-Hispanic deities) possessed the bodies of indigenous young men, allowing them to perform an impossible-looking dance signaling the return of the Old Gods to vanquish the Christian God of the Spanish. As we all know, that didn’t happen, but the tradition of the Scissors Dance was kept alive by the Andean people.

It’s almost impossible to believe someone can accomplish this kind of acrobatic moves, while handling a pair of scissors made out of two individual sheets of metal, 25 cm each, but the danzaq do much more. To show spiritual superiority, they go through a series of challenges that include sticking sharp objects through their bodies, eating glass or walking on fire. The Scissors Dance is sometimes performed continuously for hours, until one of the competitors proves his superiority.

The best Scissors Dances can be witnessed in Ayacucho, Apurimac, Arequipa, Huancavelica and Lima.

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