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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


Monday, July 5, 2010

El Cuero at Lake Futalaufquen

 
map of Los Alerces National Park
Map of the "Los Alerces" National Park. Lake Futalaufquen is in the middle of the map, to the right; a lake with three long arms.


Futalaufquen, whose name in the language of the Mapuche natives means "Big Lake", is located in the Argentine province of Chubut, at 515 m (1,688 ft.) above sea level.

Lake Futalaufquen (42°50'S, 71°38'W) is a large lake, it has a surface area of 44.6 km2 (17.2 sq.mi.) and is 168 m (550 ft.) deep [1].

It drains into the South Pacific Ocean through the Futaleufú River (in Mapuche language: Big River) and is part of the Los Alerces National Park.

This area was first settled in the late 1880s by explorers which came from the Welsh colony (yes, in 1865 a group of Welsh came to Patagonia sponsored by the Argentine government, and set up an agricultural colony on the lower Chubut river).

It is a lovely area, deep inside the Andean mountains, which comprises the lush forests (protected by the National Park), and a relatively fertile area on the edge of the Patagonian steppe, a transition zone which was the area chosen by the Welsh to establish their colony and the two towns of Esquel and Trevelin.

Futalaufquen is quite close to Lakes Rosario and Esquel where "lake creatures" have also been reported).

El Cuero

A recent book by Medrano, Susana de los Angeles [2] compiles local tales and stories of some of the pioneers who settled by Lake Futalaufquen. Among them is Mrs. Norberta Garcés de Braese, who spoke about the "Cuero del lago" (lake hide) skeptically:

"I never saw it, I can not say anything [about it]. But therea re people who say that they have seen it... It is a thing like this, wide, like one of those giant rays. But they always say that they could see the upper part, its back... They say that they have seen it a lot over there, where Rosales de butcher lives. And also further away, at the other Rosales, of Mindo...[2]


Interesting experience, and, (see my post on the cuero) the only account that I have found that compares the creature to a sting ray.

Bibliography.

[1] Sistema Nacional de Información Hídrica. Información General, Lago: Futalaufquen.
[2] Medrano, Susana de los Angeles, (2005). Voces del Futalaufquen: historias de vida de los pobladores del Parque Nacional "Los Alerces". Fondo Editorial Provincial, Secretaría de Cultura de la Provincia del Chubut. pp. 121.


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

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