Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Creatures at Deseado River

lake of the week

Not a lake, a river, but the idea is that we want to highlight this Patagonian water course today

During the Plesiosaur episode in 1922, Clemente Onelli, who was organizing the expedition to hunt it, mentioned other previous sightings of mysterious Patagonian creatures.

He told of one that had happened in 1901, when Mr. Ludovic von Plaaten Hallermund, a Dane expert working for the Argentine Border Commission reported that a mule had fallen down a cliff by the Deseado River. When on the following day his men climbed down to salvage the cargo, they found the animal on the edge of the water, half eaten and in its vicinity, strange tracks “like those of a puma, yet not those of a puma”.[1]

The first sightings, dog faced men and crocodiles.

Cynocephalic (dog-headed) giants were sighted in Patagonia in 1592 by John Davis (a member of Cavendish’s expedition) who fought at Puerto Deseado with “a great multitude of Salvages [sic] […] leaping and running like brute beasts, having vizards on their faces like dogs faces, or else their faces are dogs faces indeed”.[3]

A few years later, it was at the mouth of this river that the expedition of Jacob Le Maire and Willem Schouten (1615) encountered “three or four sea monsters with ash colored hair, with large muzzles like those of crocodiles”.[2]

The river.

The Deseado River is 615 km (382 mi.) long and flows from the Andean foothills into the Atlantic at Puerto Deseado. Nowadays its flow is intermittent and it disappears in places under the arid steppe terrain to reappear downstream fed by temporary springs. However during the Ice Ages it drained a large basin covering what are now the Buenos Aires, Ghio, Salitroso and Pueyrredón lakes.


[1] Hesketh, P. Op. Cit. pp. 335-338
[2] Murray, C., Vainstub, D., Manders, M. and Bastida, R., (2008). Tras la Estela del Hoorn – Arqueología de un naufragio holandés en la Patagonia. Buenos Aires: Vázquez Mazzini. pp. 59.
[3] Davys, J., (1970). The voyages and works of John Davis, the navigator. New York: B. Franklin. pp. 121.

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Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
2010 International Year of Biodiversity Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall © 

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