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

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lake Esquel creature


Lake Esquel is a very small lake barely 1 km2 (0.4 sq. mi.) on the dry steppe well to the east of the forests at 750 m altitude (2,460 ft.) (42°53’ S, 71°04’ W).

It is located very close to the town of Esquel, in the Argentine province of Chubut. In 1922 Onelli had mentioned it as the home of the plesiosaur, but only to mislead those who might try to catch the animal before he did.

Even nowadays it is incorrectly mentioned as the plesiosaur's home, which is actually located over 50 km (31 mi.) further north at Epuyén, in the forests and not on the steppe.

In 1956 Buenos Aires daily La Razón published an article reporting that twenty workers had seen a strange animal coming out of its waters. No further details were given.[1]

Below is a map of the area, I posted another map of the area in a previous entry on Lake Rosario, home to a Cuero, mermaid and a "Lake bull".

Lake Esquel
Esquel and Lake Esquel. Copyright © 2010 by Austin Whittall

The map above shows the area close to Esquel. The Los Alerces National Park can be seen on the left side of the map (shaded green) and the minute lake is marked with a red arrow. Chubut province is shown in orange, and the tiny blue sqare represents the area of the enlarged map. Lake Rosario is at the lower middle part of the map.

Route 40 "the road to adventure" goes right through the area (from north to south).

Much more terrifying than lake monsters

More recently, the lake made the news because apparently a gold mining project at Esquel intended to use the lake as a pool for its liquid effluents (gold mining uses cyanide to process the ore and increase its purity). Cyanide is highly toxic. Contaminated waste waters are usually contained. Seepage into the underground aquifer is a serious problem.[2]

A Canadian mining company (Yamana Gold Inc.) is interested in exploiting a gold mine at Esquel, but has been defeated several times in referendums (up to 80% of the residents voted against the project). Argentine politicians, on the other hand (not the most honest in the world) are keen on promoting this project (I wonder why) against their constituents' will.

Read my post on the serious environmental threats that Patagonia faces (gold mining, dams, etc.)

[1] Jarré, S. Op. Cit. pp. 42 – 47.
[2] No dirty gold. Esquel Argentina.
[3] An online zipped pdf map of the Province of Chubut.

Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall ©

Patagonian Monsters Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia

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