Bizarre Natural Phenomena Vol. 69 - Strange Hollow Blue (The Marble Caves Of Chile Chico)

in steemstem •  4 months ago

This phenomenon is dedicated to sweet @abigail-dantes, as it is about a beautiful place in Chile.

First, I need you to picture a lake with a huge marble rock inside.

Pretty dull, isn't it?

Image from: - Courtesy of: Dentren- License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Now let's add some spectacular shades of azure blue to the waters.

Things are getting better, don't you agree?

Image from: Courtesy of: Manxuc - License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Oh, and... and try to imagine the huge marble rock hollowed to the base in a way that creates elaborate caverns of different colors that create a unique palette when the lake waters start reflecting on their walls.

Image from: Courtesy of: Dan Lundberg- License: CC BY-SA 2.0
This image was originally posted to Flickr by Dan Lundberg at It was reviewed on 27 March 2013 by FlickreviewR and was confirmed to be licensed under the terms of the cc-by-sa-2.0.

Did I make your appetite?

Do you want to know where this amazing place is?

Then keep scrolling down!

Image from: - Courtesy of: Nicolás Lara- License: CC BY-SA 3.0

This lake comes by two names and is none other than General Carrera Lake or Lake Buenos Aires in Patagonia. It's a mass of water that Chile and Argentina share custody of and in each country the lake is called accordingly; and it's also the creation of melting glaciers from the surrounding mountains of the Andes range. Over the years, six rivers (Soler, Los Antiguos, Jeinemeni, Ibáñez, San Martín, Delta) have been "feeding" a lake of 1,850 km² surface and a maximum depth of 586 m. Another river (the Baker) empties the lake into the Pacific ocean and a second one (the Deseado) into the Atlantic. [1]

That's a big lake!

It is! It ranks first biggest in Chile and fourth in Argentina. [1]

How was it made?

Probably over the last 4 million years, the lake was "made" by the movement of tectonic plates and then "carved" by the glacial erosion in the area. [1]

Why so blue?

Particles washed away by the moving glaciers, fill the lake. Those particles reflect the blue hues of light, "painting" the lake with mesmerizing shades. [4, 1st video]

Image from: Courtesy of: Danielahermida - License: CC BY-SA 3.0

And the caves?

The caves are the result of waves "eating up" the chunks of marble for 6,000 - 6,200 years. The monoliths have been transformed by the water into caverns, columns and tunnels that create underwater passages in this unique Catedral de Mármol (Marble Cathedral). Over the walls of this peculiar "temple", you can see beautiful colors and shades that vary depending on the season. When the water levels are low, in spring for example, the waters reflect lighter shades of turquoise. But in summer, when the glaciers are melting and the lake fills up, the waters turn darker and a stunning cerulean blue paints the inside of the caverns. [1, 2, 3, 4]

A Cathedral and a Chapel

On the same lake you can find a smaller marble island, made the same way as the Marble Cathedral. That's Capilla de Mármol (Marble Chapel). [4]

Wanna go fishing?

In general, the climate in the area is "cold and humid" but the lake has a "sunny and warm microclimate" where plants, fish and other marine creatures live. The lake is full of salmons and trouts if you want to bring your fishing rods! [1, 2]

How do I visit?

The only way to tour those marble masterpieces and admire the beautiful colors of the walls, is by boat. Tours are available for visitors and the most popular season to go would be from December to February. [,1, 2]

Hurry up! They won't be there for long!

Erosion is the greater "enemy" of this architectural masterpiece. As the glaciers keep running into the lake, the waves keep carving the feet of the marble monoliths. It is just a matter of time for the Cathedral and the Chapel to fall down on their own weight. [2]

You can see some really cool photos in these galleries:

And if those photos weren't enough, here are two videos!

There is even an online escape game inspired by this amazing place and it's called "Escape The Marble Caves Patagonia"

Check this video!

And now a question:

Abigail? Have you ever been there or have I just made you miss Chile more?



Thank you so much for your time!

Until my next post,
Steem on and keep smiling, people! (2).gif

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Oh Gosh Ruth! What a most wonderful surprise! The Chilean/Argentinian Patagonia is a little piece of heaven in South America. And, although I did my travels around there a couple of times I never took that boat to visit ‘el lago General Carrera’. There is SO much to see over there...

Still, these images and your text bring back great memories 😍 The cathedral looks glorious, and these are, by far, the best images I have seen of it. It was interesting to learn how they were made as well as how old they are 😳. The tectonic plates over there sure have a bad temper, but it turns out they ’create’ some astonishing beauties!

Finally, I really like the way you presented the lake, first with the dull stone ... then zooming out to the blue waters 😃☀️

Thank you my dear smart-girl.
Much love to you always :*


I am really happy you liked this one Abigail!! When I read that this wonder is in Chile, I wanted to put a smile on your face, and it seems like I made it! 😇

The place looks so out of this world, I can only imagine the feeling of sliding in a kayak through those openings, like the woman in the picture.

Thank you for the encouragement! You always now how to "flood" a comment with positivity!! 🤗

Lots of love! 😘♥️😍

I just so want to go there!

[Added on the to-visit list :) ]


Can't you arrange a future meet-up there? 😝


Not so sure about the funding question... This is far for almost everyone from the SteemSTEM community :)

That's really a breathtaking sight. Maybe someday I'll visit.. But since the only way to go there is by boat, I might go alone. My friend doesn't like boat 😂

Ruthie, when are you gonna write about a bizarre natural phenomena in Naija? 😃😂


Ooh, that's too bad. But if you go and get some awesome videos, you'll make your frie d sooo jealous and wishing was there with you 😉

Hmmm, weird phenomena in Naija, huh? Tricky task, but I will see if I can find anything 😘

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Καλά είμαι φανταστικός μέρος!!!! ΘΕΛΩ ΝΑ ΠΑΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ


Πάρε με κ μένα μαζί σου!!! 😝

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This post has been voted on by the steemstem curation team and voting trail.

There is more to SteemSTEM than just writing posts, check here for some more tips on being a community member. You can also join our discord here to get to know the rest of the community!

Beautiful images of these rocks exposed to erosion, the folds that form the marble always give beautiful tones, and added to the beautiful blue color of the waters I am not surprised that they form a great attraction. Certainly a beautiful place to meet, thank you for sharing it.

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