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

Friday, March 5, 2010

Nahuelito at Lake Gutierrez?

Good information is accurate, complete, objective, authoritative and timely. The web offers plenty of information, and (regrettably) not all of it complies with the above mentioned criteria.

For instance, today, I came across an article [1] which I review below.

It is a Special Issue newsletter on Lake Monsters, and mentions 17 lakes that are allegedly home to them.

The article

I quote the article in full (bold face is mine):

16 - Gutierrez Lake, Argentina

<<< Gutierrez Lake, Argentina

The Lake District within Argentina's famed Patagonia region is home to "Nahuelito," an ancient snake-like creature. The first sighting of Nahuelito in Gutierrez Lake (Lago Gutierrez) was in 1938 - with intermittent sightings continuing to the present. Surrounded by stunning Patagonian mountain peaks, Gutierrez Lake is one of the most visited lakes in Argentina. This 4,052-acre glacial lake is part of the Nahuel Huapi National Park, the oldest national park in Argentina. Lake Gutierrez is a four-season vacation destination, famed for its spectacular summer and winter sports:

The link takes to a web page that gives plenty of information on the lake and also states (quote): "Local legend dictates that Nahuelito, an ancient snake-like creature much like Scotland's Loch Ness Monster, inhabits these waters."


I will not look into the general data given about the lake, which seems to be correct in my opinion.

I will give two objections:

1. Clearly (just check out its name) Nahuelito is a creature that lives in Lake Nahuel Huapi not Lake Gutiérrez. There is only one (unverified) sighting of it at Gutiérrez agains many at Nahuel Huapi. Why would the article place it in the wrong lake?

2. The "1938 sighting". In my post on Nahuelito (long and comprehensive post on the subject) I wrote (bold face mine): "The next sighting was at Lake Gutierrez in 1938 just 16 km [10 mi.] from the town of Bariloche (41°08’ S, 71°18’ W).[2] However it is cited in unreferenced articles and we could not corroborate it."

The point is that I have not found one single reference (that is, original piece of information in print about the "1938 sighting"). I have seen many repeated references stating it as a fact, but none giving the source. I have looked them up in Spanish and English but to no avail. No sound source.

This takes me back to my opening comments about "Good information", if cryptozoology is to be taken seriously as a "real" science, it must be "serious", neat and reliable. Sources must be given so that all can verify them. Otherwise, it is just hearsay

Final Comment

For the record, in my post on the Cuero, I included the following:

Freshwater rays in Patagonia?

I have read an entry in Eberhart’s excellent book [6] on “Mysterious Creatures” which mentions that “giant freshwater rays were seen in 1976” at Lago Gutiérrez, Rio Negro Province.

Reproduction of pages 689 of Eberhart’s book. From [6].

This same 1976” incident is reported in detail by Sebastián Jarré[7][8] yet at a different location: Lake Moreno.

Lakes Moreno and Gutierrez are quite close to each other (8 km – 5 mi.) and both flow into Lake Nahuel Huapi, the map below shows the site of the 1976 accident (red circle) a very narrow stretch of road carved into a steep cliff that skirts the lake.

The article's references were the following:
[6] Eberhart, G., (2002). Misterious Creatures: A guide to Cryptozoology. S. Barbara: ABC Clio. pp. 689.
[7] Jarré S., (2008). Online.
[8] Jarré, S., (2004). Guarida de Monstruos. La Rosa de los Vientos. A° 1. N° 3.IV: 2+

As you can see in the image, Eberhart mentions an article by Fabio Picasso, published in Strange Magazine (Dec. 1998, pp. 28-35) "South American Monsters and Mystery Animals", which I have not had the chance to read. Perhaps, among its references it includes the original source of the 1938 sighting.


[1] Lakelubbers Newsletter, Number 4 - 03/01/2010.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia

2010 International Year of Biodiversity
Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall ©

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff... Just killing some time at work surfing the interweb and found your blog. Good looking blog. I will come back for additional info.

    Hiking and Walking


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