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Chile Glacier Lake 'Disappears' June 29 , 2007
Photo of disappearing Chilean glacier
Photos of a glacier lake in southern Chile show the disapperance of water between March and late May.
A glacier-fed lake in southern Chile’s Patagonia region disappeared mysteriously over a two-month period, prompting speculation that the ground opened up and literally swallowed it.

Rangers from the Huemules National Park made the discovery during a routine monthly patrol in late May.

“In March, we patrolled the area and everything was normal ... we went again in May and to our surprise we found the lake had completely disappeared,” said Juan Jose Romero, regional director of Chile’s National Forestry Corporation CONAF.

He said there was a massive fissure in the dry lake bed. That has led some to believe that one of the recent earthquakes that have rocked the region in recent months could have drained the lake. Earlier measurements determined that the lake was nearly 100 feet (30 metres) deep before the water disappeared.

The 11-acre (4.5-hectare) lake was only accessible after a difficult, two-day trek through fjords and glaciers at the Campo de Hielo Sur, between the provinces of Aysen and Magallanes.

Officials at CONAF say crews are investigating the cause of the lake's disapperance.

Photo: CONAF