World’s Largest Underwater Cave System Discovered in Mexico

The 346-kilometer long cave could shed new light on the ancient Maya civilization.

Photo: Getty

The underwater world is full of mysteries entirely unfathomable to mankind, that’s why new revelations continue to astound and surprise, like the recent discovery of the world’s largest underwater cave system in Mexico.

According to a report by The Telegraph, divers from the Underwater Exploration Group of the Gran Acuifero Maya (GAM) project found that two of Mexico’s longest submerged cave networks, namely Sac Actun (263 kilometers) and Dos Ojos (83 kilometers), are actually connected. As such, the enormous flooded cave system is officially the largest in the world at 346 kilometers long.

The GAM project studies and preserves subterranean water systems in the Yucatán, beginning in March 2017 with the work of GAM director of exploration Robert Schmittner and a team of cave divers. For 14 years, Schmittner had been adding new mapped tunnels and galleries to this watery labyrinth, in hopes of finding this cave connection.

Photo: Getty

According to Guillermo de Anda, director of GAM and underwater archaeologist, the cave network could provide further insights into the Maya people, who dwelled in the area prior to the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

In an interview with Reuters, he said: “It allows us to appreciate much more clearly how the rituals, the pilgrimage sites, and ultimately the great pre-Hispanic settlements that we know emerged.”

This new discovery can only mean Gran Cenote, already known as a scuba diving mecca, will attract even more curious divers who want a firsthand look at the cavernous systems that stretch underwater.

 

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