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DVD THE MYSTERY OF WHALE CAVE

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In February 2000, a team of speleologists from Centre Terre explored the wild coast of Madre de Dios Island, in the Chilean Patagonian archipelago, in an inflatable boat. There, in a giant cave, which could contain Notre-Dame de Paris, they discover whale bones: skulls, vertebrae and giant ribs... How to explain this mystery, knowing that the cave is located 8 meters above sea level?

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In February 2000, a team of speleologists from the Centre Terre association explored the wild coast of Madre de Dios Island, in the Chilean Patagonian archipelago, in an inflatable boat. There, in a giant cave, which could contain Notre-Dame de Paris, they discover whale bones: skulls, vertebrae and giant ribs... How to explain this mystery, knowing that the cave is located 8 meters above sea level?

It is to elucidate this mystery that a new expedition is organized by Centre Terre on the island Madre de Dios. But nothing is simple on this island beaten by storms, subjected to an unforgiving climate. In their quest to find the Whale Cave, located in one of the worst places on the island, on the Pacific coast, the team travels in rubber dinghies, crossing splendid primary forests, climbing on bare limestone massifs, whose rock, sculpted by the 10 m of annual precipitation, looks like glaciers...

But the caves preserve other vestiges, those of the Alakaluf Indians, or Kawesqar: decorated cave, burials... These discoveries are going to find in the last survivors an astonishing echo.

Braving the bad weather, the team will finally reach the cave, where the surprises will accumulate, allowing the scientists to propose an original and surprising hypothesis...

A film by Luc-Henri Fage


  • First Place, Spelemedia 2009, UIS, Texas
  • Exploration Film Award, International Maritime Film Festival, Toulon 2009
  • Special Jury Prize, Torello Mountain Film Festival (Catalonia) 2009
  • Best Screenplay Award, Torello Mountain Film Festival (Catalonia) 2009


Main speakers :

  • Richard Maire, scientific manager, speleologist, geographer, ADES-Dymset, research director UMR 5185 of CNRS, France
  • Bernard Tourte, caver, expedition leader, France
  • Joel Despain, caver, geologist, USA
  • Stéphane Jaillet, speleologist, geomorphologist, France
  • Franck Bréhier, caver, biologist, France
  • Marc Pouilly, speleologist, IRD biologist, France
  • María José Manneschi Salas, anthropologist, Chile
  • Luc-Henri Fage, speleologist, amateur archaeologist, France


Images Luc-Henri Fage, Music Michel Pascal - Commentary read by Mathieu Barbier
Editing Juliette Haubois and Frédéric Lossignol - Executive Producer Stéphane Millière - Line Producer Bertrand Jenny - Production Manager Aline Grippon
A coproduction : GEDEON Programmes, Luc-Henri Fage, Centre Terre with the participation of Thalassa (France 3), Planète Thalassa, RTBF, TSR, Ontario TV. Distribution Terranoa - 52 mn - High definition 16/9e - stereo sound