In 1896, Hermann Eberhard stumbled upon a gaping cave that extended 200 meters (650 feet) into the earth. Venturing inside, he discovered the bones and dried pieces of hide (with deep red fur) of an animal he could not identify. It was later determined that what Eberhard had discovered were the extraordinarily well-preserved remains of a prehistoric herbivorous mammal, mylodon darwini, about twice the height of a man, which they called a milodón. The discovery
of a stone wall in the cave, and of neatly cut grass stalks in the animal's feces led researchers to conclude that 10,000 years ago a group of Tehuelche Indians captured this beast. The cave is at the Monumento Natural Cueva de Milodón. The cathedral-sized space was carved out of a solid rock wall by rising waters. It was the final destination for Bruce Chatwin in research for his book In Patagonia, but its dusty floor and barren walls are unspectacular, and the tacky life-size fiberglass model at the cave mouth is useful only as a reference to the size of the gigantic animal that lived here.
5 km (3 miles) off Ruta 9 signpost, 28 km (17 miles) northwest of Puerto Natales, Puerto Natales, 6160000, Chile