Hydrophilacium Subterranean Pools: South America and Africa

Stumbled into a couple of older maps showing "hydrophilaciums". I am not sure what the exact meaning of the word is. Probably something like an underground water basin. Web translators were not really helpful. The African map had the below description.

Africa. Kircher’s Mundus subterraneus, dealing with geophysics, earthquakes, and volcanoes, was one of his most popular and spectacular works, full of exotic engravings and strange theories. (Fascinated with underground rumblings, Kircher had himself lowered into Vesuvius shortly after a nearby earthquake in 1638.) In it, he published an account from the journal of Pedro Páez, a contemporary Jesuit colleague, who had visited Ethiopia in the early 1600s and described seeing the “fountains of the Nile.” James Bruce, the English Nile explorer, translated Kircher’s version in his own work, Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (1790):
  • On the 21st of April, in the year 1618, being here, together with the king and his army, I ascended the place, and observed every thing with great attention. I discovered first two round fountains, each about four palms in diameter, and saw, with the greatest delight, what neither Cyrus king of the Persians, nor Cambyses, nor Alexander the Great, nor the famous Julius Caesar, could ever discover.
  • The two openings of these fountains have no issue in the plain on the top of the mountain, but flow from the root of it. The second fountain lies about a stone-cast west from the first: the inhabitants say that this whole mountain is full of water, and add, that the whole plain about the fountain is floating and unsteady, a certain mark that there is water concealed under it; for which reason, the water does not overflow at the fountain, but forces itself with great violence out at the foot of the mountain. . . . [T]he fountain seems to be a cannon-shot distant from Geesh. . . . [Vol. 3, pp. 619-20]
Another Portuguese Jesuit, Jerónimo Lobo, claimed to have passed through the area in 1629. He offered a different (and fairly accurate) description (compare with the photographs in Scturro):​
  • In this territory of Toncua is the known head and sourse of the River Nile, by the natives called Abani (i.e.) the Father of Waters. . . . The Head rises in the most pleasant Recesse of the Territory, having two Springs, called Eyes, each about the bigness of a Coach-wheel, distant twenty paces.… These two springs rise in a little field covered over with green and thick wood. . . . This plain is on the top of a high mountain, overlooking many spacious Vallies and from this hight insensibly descends. . . . At little more than three dayes journey from the Head, the River is large, deep enough for vessels to sail in. . . . [A Short Relation of the River Nile, of Its Sourse and Current . . . (London, 1669), pp. 8-11]
Kircher’s map visualizes Páez’s description of the source of the Nile, showing the river flowing out from under the Mountains of the Moon, through Ethiopian lakes that are also linked subterraneously. It is an imaginative exercise, for none of the geography is accurate.
1655 kircher-1.jpg

The above map lead me to a similar map of South America. Sounds like it was also done by Kircher.
  • Very unusual map of South America from one of the first compilations of semi-scientific knowledge about the physical features of the world.
  • The map is totally devoid of political detail with only a few regional names.
  • Instead the map features the principal rivers, lakes, mountains and volcanoes.
  • The mythical Lake Parime is here mistakenly linked to Lake Titicaca (Parime lacus, alias Titicacca). Paraquay is oddly depicted south of the Rio de la Plata (R. Della Plata), and a huge crater lake, more closely located to Lake Titicaca, is situated just above the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • The Andes are shown as a chain of live volcanoes. The map is embellished with a large title cartouche at bottom. Published in a Dutch edition of Kircher's famous Subterranean World.
  • Source
c. 1664

Source - Source

KD: Are we seeing some ancient Aquifers? What do you think these bodies of water could be?
What do you think of the writing inside the 1664 aquifer (or whatever it is).

I’m wondering if it’s built into the algorithm to change a translation depending on what words surround a phrase or group of words? I’m especially interested in the meaning of Ame: rica. Here are some results:



Stumbled into a couple of older maps showing "hydrophilaciums". I am not sure what the exact meaning of the word is. Probably something like an underground water basin. Web translators were not really helpful. The African map had the below description.
Ok big stretch here, but this is my guess about the translation of the words in that picture.

“Under the Andes, water of the races of magnitude loving merciful peaceful ruler?“

broken down below:
Sub Andibes: under the Andes
Hydro: water
Phyla: tribes/races
Cium: magnitude
Amer: to love
Rica: peaceful ruler
Percipium: merciful

Could the races of magnitude refer to giants? Curious about giant legends in the Andes!



Patagones were giants: Patagon

The Patagones or Patagonian giants were a race of giant humans rumoured to be living in Patagonia and described in early European accounts and indigenous myths. They were said to have exceeded at least double normal human height, with some accounts giving heights of 12 to 15 feet (3.7 to 4.6 m) or more. Tales of these people would maintain a hold upon European conceptions of the region for some 250 years.
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The first map , seems to be where to kalahari desert is now. And there used to be body of water there so called as big as south carolina called Lake Makgadikgadi. It says 10,000 years ago but most likely much recently . The 2nd is one is right next to Lago O'higgins in the andes.
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“Under the Andes, water of the races of magnitude loving merciful peaceful ruler?“
mauro: «cari amici, cercherò di tradurre lo scritto riprodotto nella cartina postata e cioè:
"Sub Andibus Hydrophylacum America precipuum"
"Sotto le Ande guardiano delle acque principale, d'America"
Ma anche l'altro ,pag 104 (Africa)
"Hydrophylacum sub montibus Luna"
"guardiano delle acque sotto i monti della Luna"»
DeepL: «Dear friends, I will try to translate the writing reproduced in the posted map and that is:
"Sub Andibus Hydrophylacum America precipuum"

"Under the Guardian Andes of the main waters, of America"
But also the other, page 104 (Africa)

"Hydrophylacum sub montibus Luna"

"Water guardian under the moon mountains"»

As for "montibus Luna".
According to my vague translation these are fresh watersaving bassins: Book in latin
I have no Idea what they talk about.
Ame: rica
According to my translation it means "in order of/ assingned by Ame-rica"
but it does shine a new light on America
Costa Rica (rich coast)
Ame Rica? (Beloved rich?)
A mer (at sea) Rica?
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Expanding earth theory is interesting, but warning it is heliocentric. How could this idea of water mixing with iron and causing the earth to expand from waterworld to present be explained in the geocentric model?
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"An unknown and imagined 'Terra Austrasis Incognita' lies at the bottom of the map. Decorative title cartouche at the lower section of the map. However, the map stands out for the craterous lake depicted at the centre of the map, between the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn. It is captioned as 'Sub Andibus Hydrophylacium America precipuum'. This is one of several maps prepared by Kircher to illustrate his unique hydro-geographic theory. Kircher hypothesized that tides and currents are caused by water moving to and from a massive subterranean ocean. Kircher further postulated that water entered and exited the subterranean ocean via a number of great abysses situated around the globe. In addition, he believed that massive underground lakes lay beneath most of the world's great mountain ranges."

Tabula qua Hydrophylacium Andium Exhibetur, quo Universa America Australis Innumeris Fluviis Lacubusque Irrigatur. de South America. Kircher, Athanasius. (1602-1680).: (1665) Arte / Grabado / Póster | Inanna Rare Books Ltd.

The approximate translation of the text " Sub Andibus Hydrophylacium America precipuumis" is "Under the Andes the main hydrographic pillar of America".

In the case of South America.
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positive (miracle)
Or the inversion
negative (nightmare)

Alternatively, I think "Ame rica" or "a mer rica" meaning "a sea of richness" (mer=meer/quantity, rica=rich/quality), where "sea" is, lost in translation, to be taken nonliterally, like when saying "a pile of dirt", also makes sense.
Hydrophylacium is the latin word for the italian Idrofilacio, which description is here below.

Idrofilacio, s. m., serbatoio naturale di acqua nelle viscere della
terra ; come i serbatoi che alimentano le fonti e i fiumi ; bacini, scavati delle acque piovane che penetrano nelP interno dei
monti e n' escono per altri trasportando fuori tutte le materie
solubili nell'acqua, delle quali essa si vien saturando.

Hydrophilaceous, s. m., natural reservoir of water in the bowels of the
Earth; like the reservoirs that feed sources and rivers; basins, dug by rainwater that penetrates the interior of the
mount and go out for others carrying out all the materials
soluble in water, with which it becomes saturated.

source: Full text of "Vocabolario nautico italiano con le voci corrispondenti in francese, spagnolo, portoghese, latino, greco, inglese, tedesco;"
The African aquifer seems to coincide with the Sea of Uniamesi (unyamwezi). Another fruitless fantasy about the source of the Nile.

also a rigorous search of precipuum finds Gnathophyllum precipuum or Hawaiian cave shrimp. Emphasis on cave?