A huge Chilean lake disappears overnight


A Chilean lake called Cachet II, two square miles of water area, disappeared during a single night and now continues to do regularly. The apparently strange incident first occurred on March 31, 2012 in Chilean Patagonia. The lake with 200 million liters of water completely disappeared due to rising temperatures caused by climate change. There are many glacial lakes in the mountainous region of Aysen, southern Chilean Patagonia but the disappearance of Cachet II was dramatic. The sun rose on a dry, sandy and dotted valley with puddles and large chunks of ice. A lake whose depth reached 27 meters disappeared within hours.

Lake Cachet II
Lake Cachet II

The disappearance was dramatic but there was nothing mysterious. The lake had vanished just two months earlier, on January 27 and has done a total of 10 times in the last five years. This happens whenever the temperature increase weakens the glacier enough to fall below the water, across the bottom of the lake as if it was a wall of broken ice. Two hundred million cubic liters of water spilled into the largest river in Chile, the Baker, creating giant waves which will lead to the Pacific Ocean.

Now lake Cachet II has begun to disappear several times a year, local villagers have had to learn to master the ‘art’ of the evacuation. A constant alarm monitoring the lake gives them eight hours to flee to higher ground with their herds of animals when sudden emptying occurs.


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