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Divers in Mexico uncover the world’s largest underwater cave

The largest flooded cave within the world has been found by a bunch of divers in Mexico following an intensive 10-month exploration of cavernous programs in Quintana Roo, with the ground-breaking discovery probably providing precious perception into Mayan historical past.

GAM exploring an underwater cave in Mexico.
A crew of GAM divers exploring an underwater collapse Mexico. Image by Karla Ortega

Discovered by Gran Acuífero Maya (GAM), an underwater exploration group devoted to the research and safety of water assets and pure and cultural heritage beneath the Yucatan Peninsula, a current mission noticed a hyperlink being found between two of the most important flooded cavern programs on earth, Sac Actun and Dos Ojos, resulting in them being labeled as one leviathan 347-kilometre-long cave.

Guillermo de Anda, researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History and a Director of the Great Maya Aquifer Project.
Guillermo de Anda, researcher on the National Institute of Anthropology and History and a Director of the Great Maya Aquifer Project. Image by Karla Ortega

Led by director of GAM Robert Schmittner, this section of the venture started in March 2017, though Robert has been in search of the connection for over a decade, with totally different dives ensuing within the additions of many new tunnels and galleries within the underwater system. “This is an effort of more than 20 years, to travel hundreds of kilometers of caves submerged in Quintana Roo mainly, of which I had dedicated 14 years to explore this monstrous Sac Actun System; now everyone’s job is to conserve it,” Robert mentioned.

The new discovery takes the place of the 270-kilometre lengthy Ox Bel Ha system, positioned south of Tulum, which had beforehand held the title of longest underwater cave within the world. According to the foundations of caving, when two cave programs are found to be related, the most important cave absorbs the smallest, and the identify of the latter disappears, with the cave now being known as Sac Actun. In addition to this discovery, the GAM exploration group has additionally registered one other system with a size of 18 kilometres known as The Mother of all Cenotes, which has a most depth of 20 metres.

Quintana Roo boasts a number of famous cave systems, including the Chac Mool Cenote in the Riviera Maya.r
Quintana Roo boasts plenty of well-known cave programs, together with the Chac Mool Cenote within the Riviera Maya. Image by Karen Doody

“This immense cave represents the most important submerged archaeological site in the world, as it has more than a hundred archaeological contexts. Along this system, we had documented evidence of the first settlers of America, as well as extinct fauna and, of course, the Mayan culture,” mentioned Guillermo de Anda, researcher on the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) and Director of the Great Maya Aquifer Project.

GAM has mentioned that it now intends to attach Sac Actun with three different underwater cave programs which are all in shut proximity to one another within the space.




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