back to article Chilean scientists crack lost lake mystery

Chilean scientists have confirmed suspicions that the missing lake which went awol in the Magallanes region of Patagonia simply drained away though a crack, Reuters reports. Before and after photos of Chile's missing lake. Photos: CONAF The lake, when last seen back in March, boasted a surface area of around four to five …


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  1. Will

    Soccer pitches

    Its a bloody football pitch!

    The yanks can call it whatever they want, we invented football (played with a round ball), they made up some girly game a bit like rugby but much slower, less fun and requires more padding because the players arent quiet as hard!

    Its still and not .com!

  2. Craig McNeil

    Totally agree!

    What the hell is a soccer pitch? And isn't "soccer" the most vile sounding word ever invented? Go on - say it. Makes you feel ill doesn't it?

    People who say and write "soccer" should be pounded very hard with large anvils.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Soccer" "Football" does it matter ?

    did you understand what was meant ? I did. Personally, irrespective of the or .com location of the story, it doesn't do any harm to use a more internationally recognizable metric where possible, IMHO.

    quibbling about it is a waste of electrons ...

  4. Eric Healing

    Football good enough

    A football field must be rectangular and have two goal posts at each side, its length should be in the range of 90-120m. and the width between 45-90m. Near to the goalposts there is an area called “penalty area.” On the other hand, an American football pitch must be a rectangular of 110m. long by 49 m. wide.

    Football would have been international enough for this article to express sizes.

  5. Greg

    Also on Soccer Pitches

    Why do all news reporters feel it necessary to compare all areas in terms of football pitches? Surely that should be restricted to the Daily Mail, for those readers that can't visualise anything any other way? We're not all football addicts, and I suspect that the percentage of people obsessed with who's transferring to where and who's gonna get their head kicked in is a lot lower on El Reg.

  6. Dave

    A game played with the feet

    Football is a game played primarily with the feet. Of course it matters, and I always correct those who call it soccer (knowing a lot of Americans means I get a lot of practice).

    Anyway, to keep things vaguely topical, I know where their water went - did anyone see the recent pictures of Hillsborough?

  7. Wyrmhole

    Re: Also on Soccer Pitches

    You might want to see (and especially its comments) for the reason.

  8. Nik Peltekakis


    Quibbling about it is most certainly not a waste of electrons. The word 'football' is English, and will become part of our fast disappearing heritage if not used to describe our national game.

    Not only do we have to contend with a fast disappearing word, we also have a fast disappearing english nationality, along with disappearing english independent pubs, the inability to cook our own proper English fry ups properly any more (two of everything please....get met with 'that will be extra') because it is unhealthy; a fast disappearing community spirit...oh yea of course...that went ages ago; and a fast disappearing identity of what it means to be 'english'.

    I love the green and pleasant land we all walk on; and thats about it. Most of what we have done to it is utter toss, and this piece of writing is way over the top; shoehorned in square peg round hole style but I love it!

    I saw a Polish menu in a pub the other day, in a city dubbed 'little warsaw'...or something. People have to do crappy jobs, this is the case in every country in the world; (I have done my fair share of them) I wish our borders were harder to pass through and we had some kind of renaissance with the passion for our country. This of course is impossible with the english leaking away into europe, Oz; and anywhere else that has a Government that appears to listen more.

    I could have written this with more aplomb and structure but people are counting on my support to keep the I.T infrastructure running; so ill try harder next time!

    Always use the word Football!; and remember everyone; it is the only thing we believe in now as far as England goes; might as well there is precious little else!!


  9. Louis Cowan

    I need help

    Exactly how many chess boards large was this lake?

  10. Dax Farrer

    Does it matter ?

    Of course it f***ing matters, its about class.

    "Soccer" is a upper class word, it originates with that type that like to say "rugger" for rugby and use small boys for toast racks. It stands for association football, when there was never a need to seperate it from "american football" in the first place. Its all about being with the "in" crowd and separating them and us.

    The world uses football, so should the reg. Just so they don't look like a bunch of spoiled, upper class wankers, that effect the speech of someone with a un-chewed biscuit in their silver spoon stuffed faces.

    Notice no caps ... but hey ! What prose ! What flames ...

  11. Ian Yates


    Can I kindly disagree with Dave and state that the agreed etymology of the word "football" is actually because the game is played on your feet (as opposed to the noble sports that were played mostly on horseback).

    In that sense, Association (Soccer), the Rugbies, American, Austrialian, Gaelic, etc are all football.


  12. tops

    Do you mean 'Association Football'?

    Proppa football is played with oval balls and is also known as 'Rugby Union', of course.

  13. Colin Dines


    According to my calculations, assuming standard tournament chess boards with 2 1/4 inch squares, a single board is about 0.209 square metres, so there are about 47,847 chess boards per hectare.

    So the lake had an area of around 191,387 to 239,234 chess boards

    while I applaud the refreshing change from constant football pitch comparisons, i think this is a bit cumbersome to be a new standard !

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nik : There'll always be an England... long as a subject like whether to use the word "soccer" or "football" in an article about a missing lake in Chile can generate such impassioned and eloquent arguments ...

    perhaps El Reg could provide a page with a conversion tool. So many double deckers=so many greyhounds, so many Paris Hiltons=so many Jade Goodeys etc ....

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never mind football, or chessboards

    What I want to know is how many olympic swimming poolfuls of water drained out and how many Nelson's columns deep it was...

  16. chris

    tasty chocolate toast racks...

    I believe since standardisation by the EU, the SI unit of pitch area is the pétanque court.

  17. /\/\j17

    "Soccer" "Football" does it matter ?

    [Quote]...irrespective of the or .com location of the story, it doesn't do any harm to use a more internationally recognizable metric where possible...[/QUOTE]

    I whole heartily agree with this statement...and given that ONLY the USA refer to "Association Football" as "Soccer" the correct, internationally recognizable metric would be "football".

    I'm sure the sports world governing body FIFA, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (not you note FISA*, Fédération Internationale de Soccer Association) would agree.

    *FISA is of course the Finance Industry Standards Association.

  18. Matthew

    Double-decker buses...

    ...were the traditional British measurement I always seem to see. And a lot more meaningful to every day life than something I only ever see on a TV screen (briefly before I change channels).

    How many double-decker buses could park on an area that size?

  19. Tawakalna

    but what about the vanishing lake?

    does nobody care that a whole lake can mysteriously vanish? remember it all started with cows and then drunken American rednecks and single mothers in trailer parks, now whole bodies of water disappear. Did no-one watch "V"?

  20. Jason Irwin

    Which football

    "Football pitch" could refer to a number of different games and thus pitches. Association Football, Rugby Football, Gaelic Football, American Football, Australian Football or even Wall Football (still played - Eton Wall Game).

    "Soccer" is a contraction of "association" so really is the most correct term to use as "football" is just too damned ambiguous.

    Of course the whole this is moot as "football" (whatever kind) is a rather pointless game and just an excuse for old men you watch young lads run around in small shorts.

  21. Nik Peltekakis

    So True 11:09

    Lets just hope we dont all disappear then eh!

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Support for Nik

    England: fabulous place, wonderful people, slowly being spoiled by PC w@nkers imported from across the pond and the easily impressed who live here

    Football vs. American football

    Morris dancing vs. line dancing

    Fists vs. guns

    Pride vs. insecurity

  23. Jacey

    London Buses

    Marginally offtopic, volume often seems to be quoted in London Buses and Albert Halls - eg - Thames Water "lose" enough water daily to fill x Albert Halls.

    That's never made any sense to me - why the Albert Hall? Why not the Houses of Parliament, Nottingham Ice Stadiums, or Angels of the North?

  24. Nik Peltekakis


    Thanks 11:41, I have a lot of pride for the land; im just waiting for something to believe in. In 2003, I regretted not going on the anti Iraq war march; and felt something akin to hopelessness when we went ahead and did it anyway...I know I know...its the agenda; but still when you have over a million people in one place saying "No do not do this"; and it happens anyway it pushed me over the edge for belief.

    Insecurity is a huge global problem created by the US; it really is pathetic and I for one will always walk the streets, fly, go to bars and clubs; and do the things I want to do. If im unlucky enough to get blown to bits by a "terrorist" bomb then I will die knowing that karma has another pound of flesh to exact its balance on the real terrorists! phone is quiet!


  25. David Heys

    "Missing lakes" investigative team!?

    Quote: "Glacier expert Andres Rivera, who visited the site as part of a "missing lakes" investigative team..."

    Swanning around the globe looking for lakes that aren't there... that sounds like a swish job.

  26. Tony Haines

    Use a proper unit.

    Football, soccer, whatever - as people have pointed out, the pitch isn't precisely defined, so it isn't a good unit of measurement.

    Therefore, I've converted it into something more useful.

    The lake was 1.95 to 2.34 micro-areas-the-size-of-Wales.

    Hope this helps.

  27. alan loughlin

    best thing of all

    The lake wasn't there 20 years ago anyway:

    "The Magallanes area "has seen interesting changes in the last few decades," he said, noting that the lake itself had not been there 30 years ago."

    so make sure the global warming squad know this fact before throwing the "it's because of global warming" statement out there.


  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Our country is dying!!

    In reply to Nik, in every country there is some group of people that think the "good" way of life is being destroyed. Usually the reason given is that "they did it" whoever they are, they certainly aren't anyone the accuser would know. "They" is a scapegoat for nationalists so they can firmly point the finger and say "They ruined our country! They should pay!"

    Sure there are some people who would do as the French and try to halt language change. If a language is changing it means it's not dead yet. Isn't that a good thing? You can choose which word you use, but everyone else is free to choose differently. These kinds of altercations are what occurs in a semi-free world.

    If you are upset about restaurant cooks then learn to cook for yourself. Don't go complaining here please (though since everyone can have his opinion you can go on whining). There is always a solution, you just gotta find it. Sure cooking may not be right for you, but there are other solutions too. Not all restaurants can make the best of whatever's your favorite, but they can probably make other things well, so why don't you try those things instead of being a three year old who's a picky eater.

    Lastly for your complaints about loosing Englishness, well let me tell you I'm betting your immigration "problem" isn't is bad as it is here in America. Ever hear of Farmingville, New York. Yeah thousands of immigrants appeared. And there have been other clashes as well. America's a bigger country with larger borders and roughly 11 million illegal immigrants. I don't think you have as big of a problem as we do (though I could be wrong).

    I guess it just boils down to that things could be worse and some of the problems aren't that big of a deal.

    "Don't worry, be happy."

  29. Steve

    Football fields AND London Busses, some more pedantry

    Since the football pitch metric is a measurement only of area, it does not give the full picture, expressing only the approximate surface area of the lake at ground level.

    The *correct* way to describe a missing lake by analogy would be be some number of footbal pitches in combination with some volumetric measurement, e.g that of a london bus, Albert hall, etc, thus giving a full picture of the lake's actual and apparant measurements.

    I'd suggest the 'olympic swimming pool' metric for this purpose, since it's an international standard.

    Football pitches are perhaps unsuitable in this context, given the variation in the use of the term, perhaps 'Tennis Courts' would be more approprate ?

    Regardless, the correct term *is* 'football', not 'soccer'. I read yesterday in the New York Times that two terrorist suspects had been arrested on the M6 'highway', so sod the yanks and their insidious bastardisation of the Queens English, gor blimey!

    Cry God for Harry, England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales and !

  30. /\/\j17

    London Buses

    Has Thames water ever actually filled the Royal Albert Hall with water?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're still having trouble visualizing this

    It's equal to approximately 0.000613 areas the size of Wales. Glad I can be of help.

  32. Nik Peltekakis

    Response to American 12:56

    Hi. OK, ill answer you points one by one. (Its quiet at the office next to the 300 year old castle keep).

    Our English way of life IS being destroyed, there is no 'they', it is our government and the influx of foreign people coupled with the leaving of so many native brits (I think it is now 330000 a year?) that is sanitizing our country into oblivion.

    Cooking?? I love cooking!, and have been making lovely authentic Bolognese, ragu, and chinese dishes for years; I was pointing out the lack of passion for, as an example; our own english breakfast; and how difficult it it to find a good one because it is being sanitized along with everything else in this country. Smoking ban?....give people the choice! Restaurants?? I never mentioned them; and as for being a "3 year old picky eater" I would love to know how you came to that conclusion; since when has wanting to put good fresh food in your stomach been picky?; are you having trouble seeing over your pancakes today?

    Our immigration problem is a HUGE problem, please; that comment was a joke; I am not even going to entertain it. I respect your figures for your country; the simple fact is that over here we have an identity crisis; and no one knows quite what to do.

    This is all a very big deal, when you have a history and heritage as long as ours it is A: worth remembering and B: worth protecting.

    Hope this helps.


  33. Will Leamon

    Well ain't this nice

    Good to see the Village Green Preservation Society still pounding hard to maintain some idea of English nationalism. Perhaps you guys should start your own wars instead of just piggy backing on ours. I know the US is your most hated target now since we deploy armies of Football toting, Coke swilling poor TV writing hordes to invade your perfect nest but I think kicking it off with the US may piss off Gordon.

    Been awhile since ya'll went to war with France. Would that satisfy your frustrations? Or perhaps Lewis Hamilton is enough?

    In all honesty though I really don't understand the blatant jealousy a lot the readership here harbors for the U.S. Sure we suck. And we know we know we suck but much like you guys we gotta get up and go to work, deal with families and play video games. That doesn't leave much time to consider every little sensitivity of the UK.

    Wait I've got it! Invade India. You guys seemed awfully happy the last time you were there.

    p.s. I'll just go ahead an apologize now for the truly outrageous audacity of the U.S. to actually not like Soccer. I mean how dare we come up with our own versions and our own culturally linked sports / entertainment. Don't we know England set all that straight in the 19th century?

    Happy 4th everybody!

  34. Tony Haines


    The mountains in those two pictures in the article are different. I think they went to the wrong place the second time. Mystery solved.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    This is all a very big deal, when you have a history and heritage as long as ours it is A: worth remembering and B: worth protecting.


    Brought a tear to me eye that did!

    Are we still "allowed" to be English? I thought we had to be "British" these days?

    So, Great Britain is made up of... ..err..... Britain. Scotland, Ireland and Wales is it?



  36. Dax Farrer

    Response to Nik Peltekakis

    errr .. no its not mate. We do not have a huge immigration problem, we just have a huge problem with daily mail readers thinking we have a huge immigration problem.

    Sanitisation due to immigration, well thats just complete shat. H&S has not been driven by immigrants .. its a complete fabrication. Your conflating 2 things you don't like ..

    1. A perceived English way of life being destroyed

    2. You don't like foreigners

    Typical middle England, little Islander syndrome. Get out more mate, this "English" way of life you talk of .. well if it ever existed it was for about 10 years after WWII. Previous to that it was all death, hardship and class war. The trouble is your "identity" has nothing to do with history, its just a fabrication.

    Also I find it a bit rich someone with a Greek background (OK Im assuming this, but you seem to go by the handle Kalimera in Soldier of Fortune and your surname is very Greek) saying the UK has a problem with immigrants.

    We have had so many waves of immigrants to this country, all assimilate that unique English-ness eventually. The wry humour, the reserve etc the essentially unstateable thing that is being British. Whats suddenly changed ? Nothing.

  37. Ajax_wolf

    Back on topic

    This type of thing has occurred before.

  38. Steven Moore

    It weren't Global Warming... was the Rapture of the Deep!

    Nitrogen, not Carbon Dioxide, is the REAL danger.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: London buses

    [ quote ]

    Has Thames water ever actually filled the Royal Albert Hall with water?

    [ /quote ]

    Could they? Isn't it still full of holes from Blackburn Lancashire?

  40. Brian Wright

    Response to Dax Farrer

    And here we have the typical English and esp English media statement that so infuriates the other parts of the UK/Britain.

    To Quote:

    We have had so many waves of immigrants to this country, all assimilate that unique English-ness eventually. The wry humour, the reserve etc the essentially unstateable thing that is being British

    English and British are not exclusively interchangable !!!!

  41. Rick Lesniak

    Re: London Buses

    If I've got this right, the lake drained through one hole.

    So the question is not how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall, but how many Albert Halls can be filled with one hole.

    When can we look forward to a definitive answer?


  42. Steven Raith

    RE: London Buses

    I have solved the mystery of Teh Disappearing Lake, and it has squat to do with Global Warming/Global Cooling/Climate Change/insert buzzword here.

    You know when you're standing in the pissing rain on Holloway Road, outside Mary Mags Church, looking at the BDSM shop windows beside the library waiting for the 243 bus?

    I reckon this is why the buses are always late - several hundred buses all took a wrong turning at Seven Sisters, drove into the lake, and simply displaced the water out of a crack in the side. They then turned on their SatChavNav and found their way back.

    They do this all the time, and this displacement of the water table is responsible for all the current climate wibbling - the butterfly effect, etc.

    You wait all day for a bus, then several hundred turn up at once....all a bit damp and smelling of fish*.



    *as an interesting aside, getting a night bus in north London often involves sitting next to people who smell of fish, I have noticed. Maybe they went along to help?

  43. Beerpowerednoisefrenzy

    Acceptable measures of area

    I think you'll all find that for any large area, the only acceptable way to describe it is in multiples of Wales. Eg. "An area of rainforest three times the size of Wales is destroyed every day".

  44. Ash


    i would like to introduce 'my garden' as a unit of internationally accepted measurement.

    i have a very clear idea of the size of 'my garden' and so if something were described to me as about 10 times the size of 'my garden', then i would have a much greater appreciation of the size.

    Those who haven't actually seen my garden might be at a disadvantage, of course, but then it would up to them to press for an internationally accepted unit of measurement for 'their own garden'.

    Furthermore, if someone called Mike had a *really* big garden, the size of Wales for example, anything 'the size of Wales' could be referred to as 'as big as Mike's garden', or 'an area the size of Mike's garden'.

    The more people who insisted on a recognised unit based on their own gardens would mean we would have a scalable comparison understood by everyone.

    "It's as big as Carol's garden"

    "It's quite small, it's about 2 Kevin's gardens wide"

    Sadly though, so far, the EEC seem inexplicably reluctant to implement my suggestions. i think they fear change.

  45. John Angelico

    That's Sir Pedant to you!

    "Soccer" is a contraction of "association" so really is the most correct term to use as "football" is just too damned ambiguous.

    Soccer is one of those uncommon words which fails to observe the rules of English language. It is therefore decidedly not a classy expression, but a lower-classy corruption.

    [And no, I am not really a knight, since our Aussie government stopped giving any serious gongs. We can only get "Orders of Australia" now. Just doesn't have the classy ring of "Sir Percy Spender, calling Sir Spender, telephone for Sir Spender". :-) ]

  46. Mark Rendle

    Death, hardship and class war

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

  47. John Young

    Tarn it

    It should be the lost tarn mystery - lake is too generic a word.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How jingoistic the English are.

    The correct term is soccer, unless you live in England, in whioch case football obviously applies. However, if you run a website with an international readership, you can either use soccer to avoid confusion, or use football, and not whinge when people point out how misleading that term is.

    To the poster who states "Cry God for Harry, England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales", in Ireland (north and Republic), as with all the many other countries listed earlier, football is most often referring to Gaelic football, unless you're not a fan. If there's ocnfusion, you refer to soccer, or to 'english football' to calrify. Soccer is very popular in Ireland, we just don't feel the need to assume everyone else will refer to football meaning Gaelic football!

    To Nik, who clearly feels that the word soccer represents a wave of immigration destroying all that he holds up as English, as well as Evil Europe telling him what to do, I say this:

    Countries change. People sometimes fear change. Soemtimes they cast around, and blame immigrants or foreign nations and groups, rather than accept that capitalism and techology will always foster change, and sweating about people using international English (despite American usage, it IS international) instead of looking at what the problems really are. I'm amazed you accpeted decimalisation, or do you still have bags og shillings and guineas?

    The changes in your society are more than multiculturalism, they're the result of policies implemented by your own government, at national level. Blaming the wider framework of the EU is an easy cop-out, as Daily Mail reading jingoistic reactionaries will see it as a single source of evil, absolving greed, follishness or well-intentioned mistakes made at national level. The more jingoistic a natyion - and both the US and UK are serial offenders - the easier it is to create a sense of external threat on which the hang the blame for things thta people don't like, but the government will do anyway - sometimes the wrong things, and sometimes right, but some people will still fear change regardless.

    Like Nik.


  49. Dax Farrer

    English != British

    Bah, they do south of the border. The Welsh get to be Welsh and British, similarly the Scots. But the dominate group (the English) went on to define British .. so there .. na na na na na .... Childish argument anyway. Next you will be spouting on about the non-existent West Lothian problem. yawn yawn. Compaining about EU regulation and demanding your pipe and slippers before your afternoon nap.

    @MikeC - err no, everywhere in the world apart from the US its football. So football is the correct term. Your assumptions are incorrect. Ireland is essentially irrelevant in this context, and you can call it what you like there. But a rag with an international outlook needs to use the right internationally recognised terminology. Its simply a matter of numbers .. Now let teddy get back in the pram nicely !

    like the rest of your post though : )

  50. huw


    OK, not being English, but Welsh and detesting football with all it's attendant religious fanaticism, can I ask that the reg use square metres, cubic millimetres and so forth and dispense with bus volumes, football pitches etc.

    Leave that to the tabloid press, who assume their readership is too stupid to perceive areas in their actual terms.

    As for the use of English, I have no problem with you people out there in the US having your own version of English and it pisses me off no end to have it pushed onto us as the norm.

    I don't care how pedantic it may seem, or how much easier it is, if you want a standardised form of English, you change your version to ours. If you don't like the idea, you will get the drift of my argument.

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