The lake itself, situated in the southern Andes Mountains, was almost 100 feet deep and had a surface area of 10-12 acres. That's a lot of water, about 39 million gallons worth. (or 390 million - I might have misplaced a decimal.)
So what happened to it?
The best theory that's been proposed thus far is that it disappeared into the earth through several cracks in the floor of the lake, storing it in giant underground fissures. This is interesting because there hasn't been any substantial seismic activity in the area in that time period.
Other theories anyone?
I actually had an opportunity to hear a conversation a co-worker had with a Chilean resident and they said that locally, some believe it to be the work of an extra terrestrial force. Aliens, stealing lakes in Chile? What purpose would that serve? The conversation I had regarding this possibility quickly turned to... "If they wanted water, why not take an ocean? If they did take an ocean, this would cause the global water level to drop rather severely and create miles and miles of brand new land. This new land, who would claim it?" Some of that is decided already by the fact that national borders are already extended several miles beyond the coastline, but what of the rest of it? Surely this would cause brand new islands to crop up around the world. Would this be substantial enough to re-surface the Bering Straight? Would Hawaii become a single land mass?
Lets say for argument's sake that an Alien being decided it would be a good idea to just take the entire Indian Ocean. How far would Sea Level drop? What exists in the space between current sea level and this 'Proposed Sea Level'? Anyone knowledgeable in things like this?
Regardless, it looks like the experts probably have this one right, as there is an existing crack in the lake large enough to lead into a giant fissure inside the earth that was far enough along to not take a whole lot of Earth shaking to become a huge funnel. But hey, the wild speculation was fun while it lasted.
I love my job...