El Primer Día

Thick clouds rose from the forest to slowly vanish under the morning sun. Two vultures circled nearby, the coarse sound of their feathers like ripping the wind in strips. My compass needle acted unevenly, as if unable to locate the north. Both cameras buzzed with a strange static noise and during one shot, the shutter went off several seconds after I had pressed the button.

Was this the place where time had lost the courage to become history and abandoned its fate to the inscrutable songs of the birds? Or was it right here when on a regular day that was also the first, the ape father of us all stood up and walked? (1)

Standing at the very center of South America I looked at the world down there and thought maybe the dark ages would soon be over. (2)

Geological studies have shown that life existed here over 45,000 years ago and mystics predict that future civilizations will be born in this place. (3) Researchers have found a very old footprint on top of this mountain, allegedly made by Adam’s foot. The primordial trace of our sacred, scientific, antique and modern history turned out to be a small, vague footprint almost entirely erased by erosion. After all it seems that Florentino missed the site for only a few kilometers. (4)

The demarcations left by the Ivy leagued scientists who were there before us resembled the method used by felines to establish their territory with urine. There were also scattered remains, empty cans and rolls of wire left behind in the survey area. 

Amidst a storming sea, the island-mountain’s powerful magnetic grip attracted Herzog Ernst’s ship, pulling out all the nails and metal rigging and sinking the vessel. The sailors swam to shore on the island to find a whole array of lost treasures and metal objects attached to the rocks. Because of this tale, mariners in the Port of Ormuz avoided building their ships with metal until the 14th century. They used rope and wooden wedges instead.
— Viajeros y Maravillas, Vladimir Acosta, Monte Avila Editores, 1992

Geologists had established that in the past, the South was the main magnetic field of the Earth. This reversed polarity, called paleo-magnetism, is found in stones around the world. Odd residues of another age, those underdeveloped stones had remained fixated to the obsolete orientation of

their youth for millions of years. Imagine the confusion if the north ends of all the compass needles in the world suddenly pointed to the South. What kind of primeval reawakening would that be? Would it be a reawakening of the same magnetism that Torres Garcia drew in the forties and Pedro Quiróz anticipated in 1617 when he made a map of Paradise?


1. The author speculates on the notion that Adam was not a Homo Sapiens but a Homo Erectus, the first ape to stand up and walk.

2. The geodesic centre of South America is located in Chapada dos Guimarães. MountSão Jerônimo is the highest point in the region.

3. Pamela Bloom, Fielding’s Amazon, Fielding Worldwide Inc., 1995, p.167

4. Florentino Ameghino (1854-1911), renowned paleontologist and anthropologist fromArgentina. In his book from 1880 “The Antiquity of Mankind in La Pampa”, Ameghino presented the thesis that humanity originated in the flatlands of Argentina.