Cueva Milodon

The Milodon is one of the numerous large animals that lived in South America until quite recently (by geologic standards). It was the subject of some amusing scientific controversies in the 19th century with various claims of live sightings and large well-funded expeditions mandated with the task of bringing one back alive. An intact skin was found in the 1890s 25 km north of Puerto Natales, Chile in the cave which is now part of the national park system. The cave has, by now, been picked clean of all trace of the milodon, but the tourist is treated to a plaster "artist's impression" of a life-size milodon reared up on its hind legs. The cave itself is more of a huge depression in the side of a hill. It's about 100m wide, 10m high and 100m deep, so there's plenty of light all the way to the back. We were there all alone and the acoustics were very interesting. There was water dripping and lots of echoes, and young stalactites (maybe 30cm long) growing in the big cavern.

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Lynn Garry Salmon <>{