Science: Circulation for Altitude

In the 17th century a Spanish priest, Father Cob,. made an acute observation about the Indians of the high Andes. "The Indians," he wrote, "are red-blooded to an extreme degree, from whence they derive their excessive heat, as borne out by the fact that if in the time of greatest cold one touches their hand, one will always find heat in it, amazingly." In Natural History, Anthropologist Marschall T. Newman explains the physiological reasons for the Indians' "excessive heat."

Many of the Andean Indians, says Newman, live so high in the mountains that the air contains only two-thirds or one-half as much...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!