Monday, June 30, 2014


In the central part of Bolson Mapimí an area that has aroused unusual interest and has been dubbed the Silent Zone is located. The enigmatic name worthy corollary to countless myths have sprung up around the area.
Dense and dark clouds of the sky cover looks overpowering. Driven by the wind, leaving small gaps torn by the bright light of the stars and the fleeting glow of a meteorite crossing the sky filtered. If you should fall a shower, you can
not leave the desert for days.

The earth is dark when needing the light of the universe; only lightning on the horizon, the light briefly, cutting the black silhouette of the surrounding mountains that look like sleeping giants, indifferent to the restlessness of the spirit of the beholder.

To the south, at a great distance, the faint glow of cities in the Laguna Region, lost in the horizon is perceived. In the vastness of the desert, the universe and man take their true proportion.

We are in the Bolson Mapimí, located in the country's north-central part of about 180 km northwest of the urban complex Torreón-Gómez Palacio, Lerdo. Bolson El Bolson is a closed basin lakes old bed, part of the great Chihuahuan Desert: A vast arid area extending from the Sierra Madre Occidental to the East, and from south to north runs from the Mexican states of Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi and Hidalgo, to Durango, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Chihuahua, and extends to the United States covering Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, reaching the Rocky Mountains.

In prehistoric times this large tract of land was submerged under the waters called Tethys Sea, as evidenced by the large number of marine fossils found in it. By the Eocene period of the Cenozoic Era, about thirty million years ago, strong orogenic changes did emerge the great continental masses originated. It is estimated that a million years ago the Chihuahuan Desert acquired its present morphology.

In the central part of Bolson Mapimí an area that has aroused unusual interest and has been dubbed the Zone of Silence is located. The enigmatic name worthy corollary to countless myths have sprung up around it. Strangely, the area does not have a precise location tracking.

The story begins in the early seventies, when a NASA rocket, Athena, apparently lost control and landed in the region. Immediately a team of U.S. experts arrived to find the artifact and hired some locals to help comb the area. Interestingly, despite all the resources used, including aircraft, the search went on for several weeks. Finally located the rocket, a short section of track was laid from the station Carrillo, to remove the wreckage and also under the assumption that they were contaminated with radioactive waste, several tons of land neighboring area were shipped to the impact site. The operations were conducted under tight security, so that neither the locals could see the remains of the rocket. Both mystery aroused suspicion and rumors originated.

Soon after, a local based in Ceballos, Durango, said he had located an area in which the radio is not listening. The phenomenon was investigated by specialists in the city of Torreon. Then came the hypothesis of the existence of a kind of magnetic cone over the region that caused ionization in the atmosphere blocking the transmission of radio waves.

And here began the legend. In addition to the Zone of Silence, the presence of fossil banks, areas with high concentrations of fragments of meteorites, the existence in the region of an endemic species of desert tortoise and the purple cactus abundance of narrowly-distributed, served basis for conferring the area supernatural characteristics and invent a number of myths: from the absurdity that upon entering the Zone of Silence could not hear the conversation of others, to the aberrant idea that the place is a landing base aliens.

So fame grew and the number of visitors. Quacks took advantage of the situation by offering massive trips to the area in search of unique paranormal experiences. Soon came the version that just the other side of the world, somewhere in Tibet or Nepal, an area with the same features existed, so it was considered the area as a center where the earth's energy is concentrated. Hikers soon realized that it was not easy to find the Zone of Silence, so we had to rethink the magnetic cone hypothesis, arguing that this change of place under the conditions of the atmosphere, and even considered the presence of several "quiet spots" that are continuously moving through the desert, erratically. Locals saw appear, intrigued, many groups of people who come looking for UFOs or extravagant ceremonies to celebrate "recharged" with the energy of the universe; they have not yet seen anything strange in the region.

The consequences of the stampede were immediate: fossil banks today is only the name; all have been looted. In their place are stacks of stones forming circles with stars of David on the inside, in which out intergalactic connections rites are performed. Also arrowheads and spears that ancient Indians used for fishing or hunting, are being depleted. Given the poor economic situation, the locals saw fossil trade a source of income and still currently sold fossils of various types, taken from banks whose secrets jealously guarded location.

The landscape has also suffered predation. A lot of small cacti have been detached to be sold abroad, where they are listed. The mainly exotic species such as the desert tortoise, wildlife have been harassed to the extent that are on the verge of extinction.

Sun, sun and heat. A stifling heat that dulls the senses and numbs the mind. In the summer, at noon, it is common for the temperature reaches 45 ° C in the shade. The singular figure of Downtown San Ignacio, highlight Mapimí Baggins, is the reference guide for orientation in the desert.

Despite the notorious aridity of the region, the variety of flora and fauna is amazing. On the plain dominates the governor, which fills the air with its characteristic smell; the sabaneta, one of the most abundant forage area also forms extensive pastures, and with its long spiny ocotillo branches rising into the sky, seem to beg a little water. On the hillsides is greater biodiversity: maguey and cactus appear, some of them endemic to the region, high yuccas dominate the stage, and during their spring flowering plumes stand out in the landscape. You will find also the sangregada and candelilla curious plant to prevent water loss, has developed a protective coating of wax. The cacti are abundant, mainly creeping species and blinding; but are also frequent purple cactus with long thorns features you born on the edges; is a pleasure to see the rich variety of blue-violet tones that look these plants. At the edge of the lagoons and intermittent streams, some mesquite grow deep roots; cool shade provides shelter from the scorching sun.

Walking through the desert often see hares and rabbits fleeing in terror to passing vehicles. At night it is also observed mice and kangaroo rats. If camping near a water reservoir, is sure to find foxes and coyotes lurking in the darkness, and whose eyes fulguran to lamparearlos. Sometimes the flight of a suspect owl in search of prey are perceived. Like the vegetation, animals suffer special adaptations that allow them to live in adverse conditions of this arid region.