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Mysterious Disappearance of the Lake in Southern Chile

On May 27, 2007, an unnamed lake in Patagonia, southern Chile were discovered has been dry up mysteriously. The Chile's National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) asked geologists immediately to investigate the mysterious disappearance of the lake which located at the Bernardo 0'Higgins National Park 2,000 km south of Santiago, after discovering a thirty-meter deep crater instead of the body of water. While observing the empty lake, they found huge cracks with hole inside it, the iceberg that used to floats on the water just stood at the bottom of the lake.

The condition of the lake
several months before May 2007

This is how the lake looks like on May 2007

Juan Jose Romero the Regional Director of CONAF told Radio Cooperativa explain the current situation at the time that they were surprised to see the five-miles lake had disappeared in two months. Last time Mr. Juan and his team saw it during a routine patrol in March 2007 and there were nothing unusual about it, everything seems normal. Then, they went again in May, the lake had completely disappeared, and it caused the significant drop in the water level of a river nearby the empty lake.

Geologists and other experts who investigate the lake said that possible explanation for the disappearance is ice floes that damming up the lake’s natural outlet could have given way under the pressure of accumulating lake water. Other theory is possibly caused by an earthquake. The region is shaken by frequent earth tremors and one idea is that a strong quake which hit the neighbouring region of Aysen fjord, few hundred kilometers from the lake in April opened up the cracks in the bottom of the lake. However Carlos Palacios, a geologist from University of Chile said, these phenomena are not triggered by earthquakes which occured hundred kilometers away-although it may have accelerated the drain process.

Andres Rivera, a glacier specialist from Scientific Research Centre of Valdivia, explained to a Chilean newspaper that actually the lake itself did not exist thirty-years ago and the disappearance of the lake seemed to be part of gradual landscape reformation.

Until now the main cause of the loss of the lake water is still debated and there is no satisfactory answer.


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