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At Heart of Lake Titicaca, an Ancient Treasure Trove

Evidence suggests ritual sacrifice by the Tiwanaku

(Newser) - To the Aymara people of the Andes, Lake Titicaca is a mystical being. It's a belief that dates back hundreds of years to the Inca—and beyond, as evidenced by treasure pulled from the lake's depths, per Live Science . Divers have discovered gold medallions marked with a ray-faced...

Man Dies While Posing for Photo at Machu Picchu

He fell down a ravine in a restricted area

(Newser) - It wasn't quite death-by-selfie , but it wasn't far off. Peru This Week reports that a German tourist died Wednesday while posing for a photo at Peru's famed Machu Picchu site. Oliver Park, 51, went into a restricted area of the mountainous tourist locale in the Andes, despite...

3 New Kinds of Pocket-Sized 'Dragons' Found

Andes cloud forests yield spiky, colorful lizards

(Newser) - Even in the year 2015, and even with widespread destruction of the world's wilderness, zoologists who look hard enough can still find new species of dragons—the dwarf kind, at least. Researchers combing the cloud forests of the Andes in Ecuador and Peru have uncovered three new kinds of...

Beer Maker Lets You Send Message With That Bottle

Andes beer rolls out 'message in a bottle' campaign

(Newser) - It's sheer marketing genius, particularly for anyone who's ever sent or left a slightly or not-so-slightly inebriated message that just didn't seem as brilliant in the cold, sober light of day: An Argentine brewer is launching a campaign that lets anyone swilling one of its beers send...

Highest Ice Age Camp Found in Andes

Settlers in Peru got there earlier than thought

(Newser) - Archaeologists who found ancient settlements high up in the Peruvian Andes were surprised to learn that humans were there between 12,000 and 13,000 years ago. At nearly 3 miles above sea level, that makes them the "world's highest known Ice Age settlements," in the words...

Man Rescued in Andes Was Fleeing Child Sex Charges

BBC reports he allegedly abused 8-year-old boy in Chile

(Newser) - The man who survived on raisins and rats while lost in the Andes for four months may not have exactly wanted to be found: It turns out Raul Fernando Gomez Cincunegui got lost while fleeing child sex charges, the BBC reports. The facts are a little mushy: The AP got...

In Andean Bullrings, Bulls Fight ... Condors

Annual tradition pits heaven against earth

(Newser) - If you thought humans against bulls was an alarming tradition, check out how they do it in Peru: condors against bulls. The cross-species fight is part of an annual Andean festival known as the Yawar Fiesta, or Blood Festival, in which wild condors are tied to the bulls' backs, then...

Andean Ice That Solidified Over 1,600 Years Melted in 25

Quelccaya ice cap melt reviewed in new paper

(Newser) - The Quelccaya ice cap sits 18,000 feet above sea level, high in the Peruvian Andes, where it earns the title of world's largest tropical ice sheet. But its size is diminishing, and a team of glaciologists have come to a dramatic conclusion about the recent melting. In a...

Plane Crashes in Venezuela; 46 Aboard

Caracas-bound turboprop went missing after takeoff; no word on casualties

(Newser) - A plane crashed in western Venezuela with 46 people aboard today, AFP reports. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the airliner soon after it took off from the Andean city of Merida bound for Caracas. People in the mountainous Coyado del Condor region reported seeing a plane go down. Merida's...

'Meteor' Hole Sickens Peruvians

Crater spews toxic gases, say witnesses

(Newser) - Hundreds of Peruvians have complained of headaches, nausea, and vomiting since a fireball plummeting from space left a deep crater in a remote area of the Andes Saturday night. Witnesses say the 20-foot-deep crater spews noxious gases that sicken those who come near it, BBC reports. Animals have also fallen...

Sacrificed 'Maiden' on Display

Exhibit extremely popular, but some local tribes protest

(Newser) - A girl once sacrificed to the gods is now on display in an Argentine museum, CNN reports. “La Doncella” (Spanish for “the Maiden”), displayed in an icy chamber, has the same calm gaze and gray shawl she wore when she died 500 years ago. Hundreds of visitors...

Missing: Five-Acre Lake

Glacial lake in the Andes was there in March, gone in May

(Newser) - A 100-foot-deep lake in the Chilean Andes vanished sometime between March and May, and scientists are stumped. The best guess in the case of the missing body of water is that it drained through cracks in the lakebed, but geologists have no idea where those cracks, usually caused by earthquakes,...

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