Andrés Ruzo investigates the Earth's heat and the mystery of a boiling river in the Peruvian rainforest.

Why you should listen

Andrés Ruzo is a tri-citizen who grew up among Nicaragua, Peru and Texas -- which helped him see that most of the world's problems are not confined by geographic or cultural borders. While trying to imagine solutions, he realized the way we produce and use energy lies at the root of many of our biggest issues. Combined with his memories of summers on his family's farm on Nicaragua's Casita volcano, playing in the fumarole fields, this prompted him to pursue a PhD in geophysics at SMU, focusing on geothermal studies. He is also a National Geographic Young Explorer.

Investigating a childhood legend led him to the Shanay-timpishka, the "Boiling River" of the Amazon, and a sacred site to the indigenous tribes, where the water can reach over 95 °C (203 °F). The greatest mystery of this place: How can a "boiling river" exist 700 km (435 miles) from the nearest volcanic center?

Ruzo is the author of the TED Book, The Boiling River: Adventure and Discovery in the Amazon.

Andrés Ruzo’s TED talk

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Gallery: The boiling river in the Amazon

February 9, 2016

When Andrés Ruzo was just a small boy, his grandfather in Peru told him a story with an odd detail: There is a river, deep in the Amazon, that boils. Years later, he resolved to find it -- and find out what's going on -- and headed to the jungle.

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In case you missed it: Day 1 of TEDGlobal 2014

October 8, 2014

Today was the first day of TEDGlobal 2014. If you weren’t able to clear your schedule to watch TED Live today and experience the magic in real-time, we’re here to help. Here are some highlights from the day: What maps can tell you about hip-hop fans At TED University, a session of talks by conference attendees, Dave Troy […]

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Stories that ripple from South America: A recap of session 1 of TEDGlobal 2014

October 7, 2014

Session 1 of TEDGlobal 2014 felt a little like a campfire, as five speakers took the stage to share stories of their homeland. Below, a recap of what each had to say. Figures from history rarely have political durability, says writer Marie Arana. And yet, Simón Bolívar’s face still appears in street art throughout South America — he’s […]

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