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Evasive Nahuelito

   
 Estimated reading time: 2 min. Texts Mónica Pons   Photos Eduardo Epifanio
Nahuelito, in Lake Nahuel Huapi

Several books and publications offer material about the sightings of Nahuelito. Our imagination was even stronger and we kept investigating. We could not give up our wish of seeing it with our own eyes.



Even though we fixed our look on the skyline of Lake Nahuel Huapi and stared at it both with our eyes and our mind for some minutes, we saw nothing. Nothing moved, not even to give us a hint of illusion. We were trying to unravel the mystery of Nahuelito. My husband and I took our time to do this every time we visited the city. Of course we have obtained no positive result so far.

Walking along the coastline on my own, I wished that image appeared before me once and for all. I imagined what I would do if Nahuelito was really willing to dedicate his outline on the water to me. How would I react? Would I be afraid? Of what? I guess there would not be many possibilities for it to reach the shore, but I certainly felt fear.

I always carry my camera around but in those circumstances I wonder if I could photograph it. Maybe I would be too astonished to shoot.
Nahuelito, in Lake Nahuel Huapi
This is no news for the citizens of Bariloche. So much has been said, criticized and exaggerated about Nahuelito that very few locals paid attention to our enquiries and left us without an answer.

Reference to Nahuelito has been made ever since before the Spanish colonization. Native legends included one particular account that mentioned an encounter with the monster of the lake. We imagined the monster would be called “Pumita” (Little Cougar), as that was the equivalent in the Mapuche tongue.

Back in 1920, Dr. Clemente Onelli, explorer who worked with expert Francisco P. Moreno, carried out a famous search along with Emilio Frey and some local men.

Not long ago, explorer and scientific researcher Jacques Cousteau had his own experience after similar tasks at Loch Ness in Scotland. He took two raids in the vastness of the lake with his team of specialists. He only got warm hints of the existence of the monster. We guess that if he had found it, he would have recorded the notes and possible sounds for the world to learn that Nahuelito existed. Afterwards, his well-known conservation concept would have prevailed before any other idea of society so as to let things follow it natural order.

There are records of other expeditions but, maybe these were the most widespread by the media. All in all, they turned out to be unsuccessful or maybe they did not gather the necessary proof to give evidence of the presence of the famous plesiosaur?
Nahuelito, in Lake Nahuel Huapi
And now I should define my personal opinion. Should I ever see it, I would have two choices: either to report it in order to be caught or just to behold it and let it remain free in the bottom of the lake. The point is that so far as I know, poor Nahuelito has never done any harm, beyond any occasional bump to some boat invading its jurisdiction. No victims have been reported.

In turn, expeditions have created very dissimilar positions before the same fact. Some wished to capture and kill Nahuelito to end with the monster of the lake once and for all. On the other hand, others just wished to prove its existence and believed the monster should be let to survive.

The truth is that data coincides: its size, its long neck and back with two humps and leather skin are mentioned by everyone who believes it exists. Much is still to be read in science books to understand if an animal that is supposed to have become extinct millions of years ago might have survived.

Illusion: a Magic Word that Keeps Our Fantasy Moving

Do we ask for too much? Just a few minutes of a deep and empty look that would remain in our memory for good.

I will always insist and encourage whoever feel the same interest in order to continue the quest for this well-known aquatic creature.
 
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