Chilean scientists are astonished after discovering and ascertaining that an unnamed lake with a surface area of 10 hectares, located in the southernmost area of Chile, mysteriously dried up in a month. Instead of water, experts found fragments of the glacier at the bottom of a dry lakebed criss-crossed by crevasses up 30 meters deep.

“We intend to travel to the site in coming hours with geologists and glacierologists to determine exactly what occurred. We are still astonished: the lake dried up at an extraordinary pace,” said engineer Juan Jose Romero, one of the geologists of the Magallanes Region.

The lakes disappearance became known on May 27, but was only reported on Wednesday.

The authorities stated that the enormous lake, with its ice masses, vanished from one day to another, leaving in its place an enormous, 100-foot deep trench, also with ice masses, but deposited on dry soil, according to a director of the Corporacion Nacional Forestal (Conaf).

Hypothesis: Forestry authorities further noted that the lake wasn’t all that vanished, but also the mighty river that emptied into the lake. It is now nothing more than a mere stream. “It can be crossed on foot,” they say. The river was 130 feet wide and some three to four miles long.

Geologists must determine if the enormous volume of water filtered through the cracks that appeared in the trench.

Although no surface tests have been performed, geologists believe that the phenomenon is probably due to some underground plate movement that resulted in cavities through which all of the lake’s water was evacuated.

(Translation (c) 2007, S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Ana Luisa Cid)