Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mountains • Earth.com

Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mountains

03-15-2021


Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mountains Today’s Video of the Day from the European Space Agency features Lake Titicaca, which is located on the border between Peru and Bolivia in the Andes Mountains.

Titicaca is one of the largest lakes in South America, covering an area of around 8,300 square kilometers. With an elevation of 3,800 meters above sea level, the lake is also the world’s highest navigable body of water. The massive lake contains 41 islands, and Titicaca Island is the largest. 

A narrow strait separates Titicaca into two separate bodies of water. The northern sub-basin is called Lake Chucuito in Bolivia and Lake Grande in Peru. The southern sub-basin is referred to as Lake Huiñaymarca in Bolivia and Lake Pequeño in Peru.

Lake Titicaca is a designated Ramsar Site of International Importance, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people who rely on the lake for agriculture, fishing, and tourism.

The terms titi and caca can be translated in different ways. In Aymara, titi can be translated as either puma, lead, or a heavy metal. The word caca (kaka) can be translated as white or grey hairs of the head and the term k’ak’a can be translated as either crack or fissure, or alternatively, comb of a bird. According to Weston La Barre, the Aymara considered in 1948 that the proper name of the lake is titiq’aq’a, which means gray, discolored, lead-colored puma. This phrase refers to the sacred carved rock found on the Isla del Sol. In addition to names including the term titi and/or caca, Lake Titicaca was also known as Chuquivitu in the 16th century. This name can be loosely translated as lance point. This name survives in modern usage in which the large lake is occasionally referred to as Lago Chucuito.

Video Credit: ESA 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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