347 Kilometers: The Longest Underwater Cave in the World

The geology of the Yucatan Peninsula, where the discovery has taken place, is perforated by thousands of flooded caves that often come to the surface of the land in the so-called cenotes.

Mexican scientists have managed to connect two cenotes near Tulum, in the Yucatan Peninsula, and in this way, they have found the longest submerged cave in the world with a total of 347 kilometers of tunnels completely filled with water. The Yucatan Peninsula has a particular geology that makes it drilled by thousands of flooded caves that often come to the surface of the land in the so-called cenotes, vertical wells that connect the outside with this submerged kingdom and that were a vital component in the culture of the Mayas, who used them to obtain water and also as sacred places where sacrifices were sometimes carried out.

Many Mayan cities, such as Chichen Itza, are built around ceremonial cenotes in which treasures and even human sacrifices often appear. These flooded caves are a magical environment; in some of them there are layers of water separated by salinity while in others the water is so transparent that if you dive in them (a usual tourist activity) it seems that you will fly. It is a magical experience.

The new discovery corresponds to the project GAM (Great Mayan Aquifer) that has connected the caves with origin in the cenote of Sac Actun, near Tulum and with 163 km in length, with the branches of the Cenote Dos Ojos, which total more than 83 km.

Worlds longest underwater caves in Mexico
The discovery is expected to better understand the geology of the area and the Mayan civilization and its mysterious pre-Columbian collapse (in the ninth century).

 

Source: eldiario.es