About 500 years ago the Spanish invaded the land now called Peru. The Inca fought back, and many bloody battles ranged over the area.
The Uros people living on the shores of lake titikaka found themselves stuck in the middle. Fuck this, they thought, we're out of here.
So they used their boats made from reeds and rowed the hell into the lake looking for new land.
But there was no new unoccupied land to find.
They find that the dried clumped roots of the lake's reeds floats. So they lash lumps of it together, cover it in a reed flooring, and make artificial floating islands to live on.
And have been living there ever since.
Went to visit those islands today, met an Uros family who invited us into their floating reed island homes.
They took us for a ride in their reed boats and explained through our translator how they build these things.
The islands are bouncy like walking on a mattress, and slowly soak up the water, becoming sunken islands in around 25 years. So the two families living on the island we visited will need to build a new one in a decade or so, when their homes start to sink into the lake.
Amazing stuff, i had no idea they existed.
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