While weather patterns may not be the most entertaining thing to wrap your head around, it might interest you to know the origin of one of the most well-known weather phenomenon, El Niño, is actually a biblical reference. Scientifically, El Niño is the name for an irregular weather phenomenon that occurs when a pocket of warm water, usually in the western area of the Pacific Ocean, is blown eastward toward South America. This phenomenon has a worldwide effect on weather patterns and conditions like droughts and floods
The name we now associate with this weather phenomenon was first used in the 1600s by fishermen in Peru to describe the unusually warm weather that occurred usually during December. When the fishermen in Peru first experienced this irregular heat so close to Christmas, they decided to call it El Niño, which is Spanish for the Little Boy, or Christ Child which is a reference to Jesus. Previous to the Spanish conquests in South America, the Inca people who lived there believed in the god, Viracocha, and didn’t know about Christianity. When this weather phenomenon first occurred in the 17th century, the Spanish had conquered Peru and many of the surrounding countries. Because of this, the Spanish Language and Christian Religion took prominence. Since the main language became spanish, the word El Niño is of Spanish origin and is a reference to the Spaniards Christian religion.
For travellers, it’s usually best to steer clear of Peru when the El Niño phenomenon takes place as it can often cause extreme weather like flooding and other natural disasters. However, don’t let this deter you from visiting Peru during the rest of the year since El Niño only happens on occasion. Most of the time, Peru is a gorgeous place full of rich history that you won’t want to miss out on!