Chilean scientists crack lost lake mystery

Went down the plughole, as suspected

Chilean scientists have confirmed suspicions that the missing lake which went awol in the Magallanes region of Patagonia simply drained away though a crack, Reuters reports.

Before and after photos of Chile's missing lake. Photos: CONAFThe lake, when last seen back in March, boasted a surface area of around four to five hectares (10-12 acres or around 10 soccer pitches). When a team from Chile's National Forestry Corporation CONAF paid a visit in May they were surprised to find it had "completely disappeared".

The truth has now been revealed. Scientists yesterday told Chilean media that "a build-up of water opened a crack in an ice wall along one side of the lake", and the contents then "flowed through the crack into a nearby fjord and from there into the sea, leaving behind a dry lake-bed littered with icebergs".

Glacier expert Andres Rivera, who visited the site as part of a "missing lakes" investigative team, happily reported: "It looks like it's slowly filling up with water again." He did, however, offer the traditional warning that the lake's escape was "evidence of the effects of global warming". ®

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