The allegory of "Magallanica" drawn in the 1607 World Map drawn by Kaerius, shows some interesting creatures that were believed to live in the mysterious Terra Australis south of America, in the South Polar regions.
Tierra del Fuego was then believed to be part of this unknown southern continent, and the Strait of Magellan was then thought to be the only route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Though Francis Drake had already noted in the 1570s that there may be a passage between both oceans south of Tierra del Fuego, it would be discovered in 1616 by a Dutch expedition led by Willem Schouten and Jacob Le Maire. They identified an island named by them Cape Horn as the southernmost tip of the Americas and the passage now known as Drake Passage.
Surprisingly, "Magallanica" was not portrayed as a frozen icy realm but, quite the opposite, a balmy tropical zone.
The animals depicted in Kaerius' map are definitively not polar creatures: white elephants, a dog (or sheep? or bear?) like creature and a peculiar bird with long flowing feathers which reminds me of a mythical Patagonian bird,Furufuhue.
Furufuhue, the "wind bird"
There is a myth which explains the bitter Patagonian winds as being created by an enormous and mysterious creature resembling a cross between an eagle and a fish.
This bird is the size of a Mapuche hut and its body is covered with shiny scales instead of feathers.
Scales are a definitively reptilian feature, which is quite strange for a bird. Furufuhue is seldom seen, but its song is heard at a great distance “even in the whole world”.
 Noticias de Antropología y Arqueología, (2002). El Diccionario de Mitos y Leyendas. Online.
 Batic, L., (2005). Seres mitológicos argentinos. Diario 1. Patagonia. B. Aires: Ed. Albatros. pp 54.
 Alvarez, G., (1969). Donde estuvo el paraiso, del Tronador a Copáhue. B. Aires: Ed. Pehuen. pp 303.
Copyright 2009 by Austin Whittall ©