Stories tagged Peru

A 6.9 quake happened today (October 28, 2011) near the coast of Central Peru at 18:54:33 UTC (1:54 PM Central Daylight Time). It has caused power outages in many locations, and some roads are blocked by falling rocks, According to the USGS website, the earthquake had a depth of 23.9 kilometers (~ 14.8 miles). Peru's government-run Institute of Geophysics put the quake's magnitude at 6.7 and put its depth at 30 kilometers (~ 18.6 miles).

No tsunami threat is expected for Hawaii or states on the Pacific coastline of the USA, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.


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Here on good ol' Planet Earth, the human population is growing and boy are folks hungry. By 2050, there should be 9 billion of us running around, but Earth isn't getting any bigger and we probably don't want to try farming on the moon. On the Buzz, we've read about some plants that have been modified to resist drought and tough climates, but what about the wisdom of the ancient Andeans?

The Andes: Just in case you didn't know what they look like. Kinda gorgeous, eh?
The Andes: Just in case you didn't know what they look like. Kinda gorgeous, eh?Courtesy David Almeida

No, no, not that wisdom, delicious as it is. I'm talking about Andean farmers. These guys are reviving tough heirloom potatoes, clever terraces, and Incan irrigation systems. The species and systems had been used for thousands of years, and were probably adapted to the uncertainties of agriculture in the high mountains.

But when Spaniards showed up a few centuries ago with their own methods, traditional ways slowly fell out of use even though they were better suited to the region's need. Now that farmers are rediscovering the benefits of these ancient traditions, they're hoping these methods can help hungry folks in other parts of the world, too. Now that's a wisdom I can sink my teeth into!


I am not bad! Only confused and hungry!: Think of Angel in season 3 of Buffy! I'm like that!
I am not bad! Only confused and hungry!: Think of Angel in season 3 of Buffy! I'm like that!Courtesy Desmodus
Holy moly!

Vampire bats have been attacking people living in the Amazon rainforest in Peru! And it turns out that the bats have rabies! 500 people have been attacked, and four people have died (all of the fatalities, tragically, have been kids).

The articles I found on the attacks don't make a link between the attacks and the rabies—it seems that some South American populations of vampire bats just have a higher incidence of rabies. (Bats, in general, have a relatively low incidence of the disease; only 0.5% of bats carry the virus.)

It's unusual for vampire bats to attack humans. Typically they will feed on the blood of sleeping animals, but if their prey species become scarce, they will sometimes turn to humans for food. According to the BBC article on the attacks, some experts believe that destruction of the bats habitat, and the ensuing scarcity of prey, have caused them to attack humans, or that the attacks are the result changing temperatures in the Peruvian Amazon in recent years.

In any case, I'd get prepared if I were y'all. Holy water, crosses, wooden stakes, and tennis rackets.

Remember the amazing photos from earlier this year of indigenous peoples in Peru aiming their arrows and spears at a helicopter hovering overhead? Well, it appears these folks have been displaced from their home turf in Peru to Brazil by illegal logging operations. Read all about it here.

We don't have time machines that can turn back the clock, but earlier this month the organization Survival International made contact with an Amazon River tribe that appears to have had no contact with the modern world. Photos and a full report are available here, but the link may be slow to come up as the website is experiencing heavy traffic with this big announcement. Survival International officials actually flew over the tribe's village with a small aircraft and did not have face-to-face contact with the tribe. Here's another interesting photo of the find.

Check out this article (and its pictures) about a village of supposedly uncontacted natives in Peru.
It's difficult to imagine that there could still be groups of people out there who haven't come in contact with the modern world, whether through choice or fortune. I'll take the article's word for it though.