Scientists say the Patagonian lake is beginning to fill up again [EPA]

Scientists said that a lake in southern Chile that mysteriously disappeared last month developed a crack which allowed the water to drain away.

A buildup of water opened a crack in an ice wall along one side of the lake according to experts speaking to Chilean state television on Tuesday.

Water then flowed through the crack into a nearby fjord and from there into the sea, leaving behind a dry lake-bed littered with icebergs.

"It looks like it's slowly filling up with water again," said Andres Rivera, a glacier expert who headed a team which recently flew over the lake in a bid to resolve the mystery.

The lake is situated in the Magallanes region in Patagonia and is fed by melt-water from glaciers.

Earlier this year it had a surface area of about the size of 10 football pitches.

Scientists noticed it had disappeared during a routine patrol of the area in May.

Rivera said the incident was evidence of the effects of global warming.

Source: Agencies