Talk:Lake Titicaca

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At least two dozen bodies of water around the world are at higher elevations[edit]

What a silly statement. What's the definition of a 'body of water'? There must be thousands of small and tiny lakes and meres in the Himalayas and other mountain ranges at much higher elevations. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:00, 10 August 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This little tidbit was from my original Everything2 write-up, but I'm not sure if it belongs in Wikipedia:

Strange Fact: If someone falls into Lake Titicaca it is local tradition to not help them, and let him or her drown as an offering to the Earth Goddess Pachamama. - stewacide


Would anyone object if I switched this page over to the Harvard citation templates? I believe they are the preferred citation style, and they will permit referencing of specific page numbers. Thanks--NathanCraig 02:06, 23 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Is that "a man" boating? Looks like a woman, with that haircut. - DavidWBrooks 18:02, 16 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Differnt countries have very differnt hair styles. and differnt times periods too. just look at hippies compared to modern hair. Joesolo13 (talk) 00:14, 13 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


We have three pretty similar photos on this page now - I would like to remove one, preferably the boat shot with all the tourists, which doesn't add any information already given by the top reed-boat shot. Any objections? - DavidWBrooks 14:45, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Pop-culture references[edit]

A three-para section with random references to the lake made on the Donald Duck show, Beavis and Butthead, and Animaniacs -- we should hang our collective head in shame at the impression that gives of our efforts here: the Free Encyclopedia with articles about South American lakes written by cartoon fans. Hajor 21:55, 19 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with you totally. It's definitely a Euro/Western point of view. I will delete that section. Mona-Lynn 00:25, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I started to resurrect the section, because there's nothing inherently wrong with silly pop-culture references or with Western points of view as long as we don't limit articles to silly pop-culture and Western point of view ... but then I read it over and, boy, it was incredibly lame. Keep it dead.
Still, I think we need to bring in the fact that Titicaca is far and away the most famous South American lake, and the only one that shows up in English-language pop culture, partly because of the giggle factor of its name in English. I'm just not sure how to word it. - DavidWBrooks 00:40, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A discreet reference to inherently funny word or toilet humour, liberally sprinkled with qualifiers such as "puerile"? But please, just a one-liner. Nothing inherently wrong with silly pop-culture references... no, probably not. Except when we have stubby little article (hmm.. ok, better than a stub, but compare Great Salt Lake) on a major geographical feature in which the informational content is pretty much unbalanced by including *three paragraphs* of throwaway cartoon references: 40 facts about the lake, of which three or four are cartoon references. Where's "Lake Titicaca in literature"? Vargas Llosa or Arguedas must have given it a name-check. Was Parascotopetl reputed to be nearby? It must have been featured in a film or two. Is Animaniacs really the best we can do? Hajor 01:32, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Clarification: David, that wasn't specifically directed at you. I just hadn't finished venting yet. I'm feeling much better now. Hajor 13:12, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No problem. I'm too old to even know what "Animaniacs" is. (Great Salt Lake is an excellent article, by the way.) - DavidWBrooks 13:39, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Animaniacs? Yeah, just something my kids watch... Hajor 14:03, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hello! I went ahead and deleted it because I strongly feel that pop-culture references in Western society are not relevant to non-Western items an international encyclopedia. We could include an entire section on pop culture references to Lake Titicaca in ALL societies (maybe there are some in Bollywood films? Brazilian telenovelas? German pop songs? etc.), which would make it more balanced, but what does such a section tell us about Lake Titicaca itself? Nothing. We should feel that we can demonstrate that this is a geographically significant lake with an important structuring role in the region's social, economic and political life in its own right. We shouldn't feel that we have to legimitate the lake's importance by demonstrating that the West has heard of it enough to trivalize it in cartoons. We must ask ourselves, how would a person from that region feel if they read the article and found that type of material in it? How would Americans feels if the listing on Milwaukee included an entire section on references to Milwaukee in Bollywood films or Brazilian telenovelas? This is trivia, not encyclopedia material. If people really feel they must set this information down, then I propose they create sub-sections within the articles about the cartoon programs themselves listing these obscure references. Including such information here strikes me as demeaning and ethnocentric. I hope people agree. Thanks, Mona-Lynn 01:34, 21 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(I'm responding to the above comment, but am not continuing the indentation because the column gets so skinny it's hard to read) Mona: Please don't remove "pop-culture" references in articles just because they aren't globally complete - instead, add more information to balance them. Many, many wikipedia articles had misbalanced information but over time, we add more details or more geographic balance or whatever, and they improve. That's how wikipedia works!

As for whether pop-culture references are appropriate to an encyclopedia: many times they aren't (as the reference here wasn't, because it was so trivial and scattered) but many times they are. A portion of the world only knows of Lake Titicaca through pop-culture references; information conveying that fact can be a valuable addition. We can't just call it "trivia" and toss it out.

I would suggest you don't get too worried about stamping out Western-centric points of view; have confidence that the growing global appeal of wikipedia will balance them over time. And how do you know that folks in, say, Puno wouldn't be tickled or enriched by a well-done reference to the way their local lake has drawn references in unexpected places? For example, I have read wikipeida articles obviously written by non-English-speaking people that go on and on about places having appeared in American movies. And personally, I'd love to see details about Bollywood references to Milwaukee: that is exactly the kind of fascinating information that traditional encyclopedias don't cover! - DavidWBrooks 17:15, 21 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree, I don't see anything wrong with having a western slant in an English encyclopedia. And lets not be too full of ourselves- while the concept of wiki is revolutionary, the process creates an inherent credibility issue. Can you really see college professors ever accepting Wikipedia as a cited source for a research paper on Lake Titicaca? So being that our target audience is essentially the layman just looking for a little useful knowledge, I see nothing wrong with including some pop trivia.
That being said, I also agree with the prior comments that the article is grossly out of balance. While there is a good start on the cultural and anthropological aspects of the region, it is just that- a start. Much more needs to be said about the people and their history. Why is there is no mention of the unique biology of the lake? It is home to several species of animals that can't be found anywhere else in the world. In fact, it's one of the only high elevation lakes of its type with any native fish or amphibians. Most glacial lakes may be stocked with fish, but have no native fish. Isn't it home to the only true fresh water shark in the world? How did these animals get there? Isn't there more to be said about the geology of the lake? How was it formed? When? Is it the result of a natural dam, volcanic crater, glacial valley, oceanic dispacement, what? What's the water like? Is clean? Is it alkaline? What's the temp? The lake is remarkably deep. How much is known about the deepest parts? What's the weather like there? Isn't it significant that a lake over 10,000 ft never freezes? Or does it? Isn't it true that there's almost 0 precipitation there? Aren't there studies that could be cited on the future of the lake and its people? Is the lake changing? Is it being poluted? Is the wildlife stable or in danger? Is this thousand-year-old culture being industrialized? Is the native lifestyle being improved or corrupted by the tourism?
This information would be far more useful than citing each time the name has contributed to ignorant toilet humor on a cartoon or sitcom. Do we need to cite each time Damascus was the punch line of a joke? Beavis and Butthead also giggled when they saw a sign for Butte, MT. Was that a significant moment in the history Butte? Grand Teton literally means "large teat". Why don't we site the jokes there? Because no one that wants to learn more about the Tetons cares if a cartoon character made a passing joke about the name. Significant Hollywood references should be cited- but we're not talking about the setting for a Scorcese or Demille film here.
So enough ranting from me. Bottom line from me- this page is obviously a work in progress. There's nothing wrong with a little pop trivia, but there are far more important points that need to be contributed before the page is ready to dedicate space to the useless facts. Until I or someone else has time to insert some of the missing information about the lake, I am archiving the Pop Culture section below. I will cut and paste it below for easy insertion at a later date. --Atomicskier 18:39, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Appearances in popular culture: Section Archive[edit]

This section was cut from the article on 11-17-06 to be reinserted at a later date when it compliments a more complete article. See Pop-culture Referrences discussion.--Atomicskier 18:39, 17 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • A segment of the Disney feature Saludos Amigos featured Donald Duck at the lake.
  • Portions of the name sound like vulgarities in English and Spanish, leading to its use in various jokes. Titicaca is the lake that Cornholio, alter-ego of Beavis of MTV's animated series Beavis and Butt-head, claims to come from, although he believes the lake is located in Nicaragua.
  • The cartoon Animaniacs featured the lake in a short song.
  • Simpsons character Superintendent Chalmers goes on vacation to Lake Titicaca in episode AABF16, The Old Man and The "C" Student.
  • In the motion picture Groundhog Day, the lake is one of the lakes Bill Murray correctly answers while watching Jeopardy.
  • The character of Edwina Monsoon in the British television series Absolutely Fabulous, refers to her daughter's friend Sarah as Titicaca when she cannot remember her name.
  • In an episode of the sitcom Scrubs, the Janitor, who was pretending to be German, was asked why Frankfurt and Hamburg had nothing to do with hot dogs or hamburgers. He responded, "Why is your Lake Titicaca not filled with boobs and poop?"

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 23 August 2021 and 10 December 2021. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): KirstenBiefeld. Peer reviewers: Cumberland107, Eitamh.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 02:08, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Formatting of photos[edit]

Would someone please be so kind as to fix formatting of photos to get rid of white spaces? I don't know how. Thank you! Mona-Lynn 00:28, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Well, I tried. I don't know if it's perfect or not. I am thinking perhaps the photos could be added to a "gallery" below Appearances in Pop Culture. Just a thought. Em3rald 07:43, 19 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Infobox & other edits[edit]

As you can see, I overhauled the format and layout of this page. I also added the infobox. The facts and figures in the infobox (and the changes I made in the article itself) are from the World Lakes Database, so they are reliable. If anyone would like to try their hand at adjusting the layout, have at it! I like the current layout enough to leave it, but I can understand why someone might want to muddle with it. In my opinion, the formatting is sufficient to call it good. If anyone can put in additional references, or inline citations, please do so. Cheers!! Em3rald 07:43, 19 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • PS. I you would like to join WP:LAKES please feel free to add yourself to the list of contributors! If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask :D Em3rald 07:43, 19 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Em3rald, thanks for doing those things. I added some more specific information on the characteristics of the lake, and included some more references. Cheers--NathanCraig 02:00, 23 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Too much white space[edit]

There was a recent revision that left too much white space. I think it would be better to revert to the previous version. --Atomicskier 04:53, 29 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Peruvian saying[edit]

I have heard it said - from two independent sources (i.e. folks from Peru) - that there is a saying in the schools there, "Titi, for Peru. For Bolivia, caca!" Can anyone verify this, and also comment on its notability? Apparently the western world and northern hemishphere are not the only ones who derive amusement from the name of this lake... And for the record, a 1981 map of peruvian metallomineralogical deposits draws the national border through the lake and its label, viz. "LAGO TITI |CACA" 10:40, 27 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I heard that joke from a tour guide during a visit a couple of years ago. But it was a joke for English speakers, playing off the English sounds from the term, not an etymological explanation. - DavidWBrooks 19:09, 27 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One of my college Spanish teachers was from Peru and she told us that they had this expression. I believe she rendered it more along the lines of "They get the titi, we get the caca." --Ericjs (talk) 05:00, 4 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pop culture section or not,[edit]

There should at least be a SENTENCE in the 'name' section along the lines of "The name generates titters from anglophones, as it sounds like a combination of slang for breasts and faeces"

Removed corn terrace "hypthothesis"[edit]

Justification for the removal of It is believed by some in the scientific community that Lake Titicaca was at sometime near sea level, due to the presence of ancient corn terraces on the sides of the lake, since corn cannot germinate high above sea level. is as follows:

The idea of anthropogenic "corn terraces" being evidence that Lake Titicaca was raised from sea level to 12,000 feet withing the time span of human culture is not believed by members of the "scientific community". It is an undisputed false statement claimed by creationist or "Young Earthers" whom use it as evidenced cited to support the idea that human beings have been on Earth since recently after the creation of the Universe and the formation of Earth. The only reference I could find to "ancient corn terraces" were on a creationist websites. Legitimate editors beware that this "fact" might pop up again and again.

Island named "Rapa" in Lake Titicaca?[edit]

Thor Heyerdahl says in one of his books that there is an island called "Rapa" in Lake Titicaca. Unfortunately I have not found any reference that would confirm this, nor a map having that name on it. Would anyone have any information on this? --Drieakko 05:12, 10 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sounds very suspicious, specially since Rapa Nui island has nothing to do with the Titicaca lake... --Mariano(t/c) 11:48, 10 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, it has something to do with Rapa Nui, as two domestic plants living in Lake Titicaca are also living in small lakes in Rapa Nui (but nowhere else, and the lakes in Rapa Nui are quite void of plantation otherwise). But yes, Heyerdahl's claim seems to be incorrect, I have failed to find any reference to an island with the name "Rapa" in Lake Titicaca. --Drieakko 12:30, 10 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

satellite map and political map[edit]

Satellite map photo is 180º rotated (S-N) in respect to the map image, which is N-S oriented... perhaps it should be indicated...otherwise one could end up with an incorrect oriented image of the lake in her mind, as in many cases one expects N-S oriented images (I know, i know, it's just a cultural bias without importance in the space; but in any case...) --idleloop 22:14, 2 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

thanks DavidWBrooks, for clarifying it ;) --idleloop (talk) 21:40, 1 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Isla de la Luna (Koati)[edit]

I propose to add to "Islands" section the "Isla de la Luna" sub-section (will be 2.5 moving for geographical reason Suriqui to 2.6) with this text:

Isla de la Luna is situated east from the bigger Isla del Sol. According to legends that refer to Inca mythology Isla de la Luna (moon in Spanish) is where Viracocha commanded the rising of the moon. Ruins of a supposedly Inca nunnery occupy the oriental shore.[1]

More over I suggest to post in the new section this picture this picture I took of Isla de la Luna. Any objections?--Cptnemo (talk) 11:24, 29 October 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Bolivia, Lonely Planet 2007, ISBN 1741045576


How did fish get up there? What species are present? Were they artificially introduced? Drutt (talk) 14:43, 5 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

sorry will not do agaian —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:46, 29 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

no real way ti know for sure, as fish can be brought from other lakes by bird, so its hard to know for sure. Joesolo13 (talk) 00:17, 13 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interesting Facts[edit]

Interesting stuff about Lake Titicaca: Iron will not rust in the water, eggs can not boil in the water, and only one kind of fish can live in the water. TheThingy TalkWebsite 21:15, 24 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interesting, perhaps, but incorrect. (Like so much interesting stuff found online!) Boiling eggs is tough at that altitude - nothing to do with the water - and the other two are just wrong. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 21:48, 24 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I actually found this in the Ripley's Beleive it or Not book that I'm reading right now. I look up a lot of the stuff in this book and so far it all proved true. TheThingy TalkWebsite 22:28, 24 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, now you know to read the book with a skeptical eye. Here's a UNESCO report on fish species - plural - in the lake ( while the idea that there's some type of water that won't cause iron to rust (as long as oxygen is present, of course) is so goofy that I don't know how to refute it. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 00:02, 25 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sea or Ocean[edit]

At the start of this article it says: "(Lake Maracaibo has a larger surface area, but it is often disregarded as it is directly connected to the sea)."

Shouldn't the work sea be replaced by ocean? Its the Atlantic ocean it connects to, not the sea, surely?

Adjam (talk) 16:58, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's actually the Caribbean Sea. But "sea" (lower-case) is a generic term referring to a large body of salt water, so it's appropriate even if it did correct to the Atlantic. And come to think of it, "ocean" (lower-case) can be a genertic term for a large body of salt water, so it would be appropriate even if did connect to the Caribbean. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:03, 11 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Underwater ruins?[edit] it might be worth an addition. I couldnt find any newer articles that cite this well, only ones from ~2000/2001, so I'm not sure if the discovery has more information. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:30, 20 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have not found not any more published information about this "discovery," except for a column in the January / February 2001 issue of "The Sciences," which is published by the New York Academy of Sciences. The column, "Quanta," had a discussion of the underwater ruins reported in the above BBC article and expedition's web page. This column noted that archaeologists have studied the area in which the Italian expedition reportedly saw the submerged ruins and found nothing manmade. The consensus of archaeologists, including people with extensive experience diving in and conducting underwater archaeology within Lake Titicaca, is that the Italian expedition mistook natural rock formation for manmade ruins and “There is no evidence of pyramids, cities or temples submerged in Lake Titicaca.” The column also noted that the claim made on the web site for the Italian expedition that “never before has underwater archaeological research been undertaken” in Lake Titicaca is completely false. Prior to the Italian group's expedition, archaeologists such as Johan G. Reinhard and Ponce Sanginés and professional divers, i.e. Jacques Cousteau, have extensively explored large parts, including the area in which the underwater ruins were reportedly found, of the bottom of Lake Titicaca. Although lake levels were low enough, as recently as hundreds of years ago, in the past for such a structure to have been built, reliable published evidence that the reported underwater ruins actually exist is completely lacking.Paul H. (talk) 03:35, 22 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article states:
"The complete findings of the 30-member team, backed by the scientific group Akakor Geographical Exploring, are to be published in November."
If it was published, it should be available as a source. Rainjar (talk) 02:16, 18 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I tried finding this article by various means, including contacting the Akakor Geographical Exploring. The best I can determine, this article was never published, does not exist, and, thus, cannot be used as a source. If it does exist and anyone has a citation for it, I would appreciate it.Paul H. (talk) 01:23, 26 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A detailed archeological study at the depths claimed by the "international team" (20m) would require a small submarine like the one Cousteau deployed earlier. The claims of the Italian team are inherently suspect for several reasons. 1) The references provided are ABC, BBC, and "The Guardian"; no scientific articles are cited. 2) Good pictures were not forthcoming, let alone dig grids of the supposed structures. 3) A climate dry enough to lower the lake to the depth the divers claim might be too dry to sustain agriculture. 4) The core project treated in a subsequent paragraph yielded results quite at odds with the divers' claims (see ): "In particular, at the end of the Formative Period (500 CE), a major lake-level rise inundated large shoreline areas and forced populations to migrate to higher elevation, likely contributing to the emergence of the Tiwanaku culture" (abstract). The paragraph should be removed; the claim seems spurious. --AGF (talk) 07:22, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To replace it, this appears to be based on legitimate archeology: (talk) 07:29, 17 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

origin of name?[edit]

There reads: The origin of the name Titicaca is unknown. It has been translated as "Rock Puma," as local communities have traditionally interpreted the shape of the lake to be that of a puma hunting a rabbit.
What means "traditionally" here? Supposedly not too far ago, because the shape of the over 200 km (almost 150 miles) wide lake cannot be seen from the ground. Or if it can be seen from the ground, I'd like to know how. (talk) 19:40, 25 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You can walk around a body of water and get a general (if somewhat inaccurate) idea of its shape, the same way maps were made in the days before human flight. If that snippet is true, I'm sure the locals felt like it roughly resembled the puma and rabbit before aerial photographs and the like showed the definite shape. Canine virtuoso (talk) 13:50, 23 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, but the IP asked for clarification of some content, specifically the word "traditionally" in this context. To me the statement reads as if "Rock Puma" is merely a loose translation based on local people's interpretation of the lake's shape. Does the word "traditionally" imply that this interpretation existed a very long time ago? Is it intended to imply that? If so, then how long ago? --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 22:31, 24 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article needs a section indicating the origin of the name of the lake. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:03, 23 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Like this? Canine virtuoso (talk) 22:36, 24 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Possible Sock Puppet at Work[edit]

I noted that User:Saaad88547 and User:Umar95632589 have both tried in the last day to add spam links to this article for the same web site at Revision as of 09:17, 1 August 2023 and Revision as of 08:14, 1 August 2023. This to me is a red flag of possible sock puppets that needs to be investigated. User:Umar95632589 also tried to add spam link to Twin Lake, Michigan for the same web site. Paul H. (talk) 15:10, 1 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]