The amazing disappearing lakes, pt. 1

Whoaaa, I must be prescient, or something. In my last post (actually, second post ever), I noted that fresh water is disappearing fast, and then an entire lake disappears to prove my point.

You’ve probably heard about the lake in the southern Andes that recently dried up in a matter of months, either from the breathless news reports or the clever blog entries entitled “Dude, Where’s My Lake?”. If you haven’t, you can get details by clicking the link above, which takes you to the story in “Science Buzz,” one of those sites that try to trick kids into learning things. Here’s a before-and-after of the big event.

Where did it go?

My guess is that this is no big deal, or at least not as mysterious as the easily excited media would lead you to believe. As the linked article states, the large hole formerly known as a lake is located in the Magallanes Region, an unstable glacial area. The lake didn’t even exist 30 years ago. So, it’s not like the venerable Great Lakes suddenly emptied.

But it’s fun getting all worked up and mystified about a whole lake disappearing! And while I’m italicizing in a mocking manner, I should point out that some geologists theorize that a large fissure opened up under the lake and drained the water! Well, I’m no scientist, but I’m thinking that’s a pretty good theory, considering it’s the only one possible—except for the somewhat less plausible late-night raid by a gigantic water tanker from a drought-ridden civilization in a nearby galaxy.

It’s less entertaining to ponder the recent disappearance of some of the world’s largest lakes, inland seas really. There are no mysteries to get all goose-pimply about, just the same arrogance, greed, and stupidity that is wrecking everything else on the planet. Not fun, but in part 2 of this series of posts, I’m diving in anyway.


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