Mexico City: After several years of intensive exploration, archaeologists and divers in Mexico have discovered the world’s largest flooded cave system.
The finding made by a team of scientists and divers associated with Great Maya Aquifer Project (GAM) announced that they have found a passage connecting two underwater caves, creating what they say is the world’s largest flooded cave.
The GAM team, committed to studying the mysterious waters of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, spent years exploring the caves of Sac Actun and Dos Ojos in Tulum before connecting the two caverns together, a CNN report said.The combined cave will be known as the Sac Actun system, taking on the name of the longer section. The cave stretches across 216 miles.
The Yucatan Peninsula, where the cave is located, reportedly still holds treasures from the ancient Mayan community.
“This immense cave represents the most important submerged archaeological site in the world, as it has more than a hundred archaeological contexts,” said GAM director Guillermo de Anda, in a statement, “Along with this system, we had documented evidence of the first settlers of America, as well as extinct fauna and, of course, the Mayan culture,” he added.
”The discovery allows us to appreciate much more clearly how the rituals, the pilgrimage sites and ultimately the great pre-Hispanic settlements that we know emerged,” de Anda added.
He called it an “amazing” find that would help us to better understand the Maya civilization.
Until the discovery of the connection between the two caves, the largest underwater cave in the world was the Ox Bel Ha, which stretched 168 miles long, according to the National Speleological Society.
But now, the Sac Actun cave system is the largest known underwater cave on Earth.