Divers discover world's longest underwater cave system in Mexico

Underwater archeologists in Mexico have discovered the worlds largest flooded cave.The ...

Posted: Jan 18, 2018 4:55 PM
Updated: Jan 18, 2018 4:55 PM

Underwater archeologists in Mexico have discovered the worlds largest flooded cave.

The Great Maya Aquifer Project (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.

The explorers' discovery marks the identification of an incredible archaeological site, illuminating the stories and rituals of the Mayan civilization.

Amazing find

The watery labyrinth connects the cave system known as Sac Actun with the Dos Ojos system. According to the rules of caving, when two caves connect, the largest absorbs the smallest. This means Sac Actun takes the title of largest cave.

Spanning 347 kilometers (216 miles), this is a stunning web of underwater grottoes -- and now the goal is to connect Sac Actun with three other local underwater cave systems.

"This immense cave represents the most important submerged archaeological site in the world, as it has more than a hundred archaeological contexts," says Guillermo de Anda, GAM director and researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History, in a statement.

"Along this system, we had documented evidence of the first settlers of America, as well as extinct fauna and, of course, the Mayan culture," adds de Anda.

The Maya regarded their caves as a place to communicate with their gods -- so it is likely significant discoveries will be uncovered in the bowels of San Actun.

Next phase

The next phase of the San Actun project will involve analyzing the water quality of the new cave, investigating the biodiversity and continuing to map out the submerged maze of caverns under Tulum.

Robert Schmittner, the exploration director of the project, has been working on the project for more than 20 years.

He hopes one of the consequences will be the preservation of the caves for the future.

"Now everybody's job is to conserve it," he says.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926931

Reported Deaths: 9740
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1809132056
Ramsey749811054
Dakota68505591
Anoka64961589
Washington41119367
Stearns34021287
St. Louis29939416
Scott26281188
Wright26260226
Olmsted22677131
Sherburne19206130
Carver1687671
Clay12219108
Blue Earth1162171
Rice11578139
Crow Wing11318124
Chisago1005281
Kandiyohi9913108
Otter Tail9908130
Benton9174128
Beltrami8249100
Goodhue822699
Douglas7967101
Itasca779999
Mower740049
McLeod723384
Winona715158
Isanti711085
Steele695034
Morrison678681
Becker631675
Polk608987
Freeborn569947
Carlton552577
Mille Lacs539479
Lyon532961
Nicollet528561
Nobles527954
Pine521143
Cass505255
Todd496443
Brown473661
Le Sueur464736
Meeker437960
Martin391344
Waseca381433
Wabasha380110
Dodge366412
Hubbard357649
Roseau320532
Fillmore310115
Wadena306040
Redwood283845
Houston275317
Renville271651
Faribault261835
Sibley256017
Pennington254830
Kanabec254437
Cottonwood232933
Aitkin225052
Chippewa222043
Pope209910
Watonwan201121
Yellow Medicine189925
Koochiching179225
Rock178429
Swift174124
Stevens170211
Jackson162016
Clearwater159421
Marshall154822
Murray152911
Pipestone150929
Lake134124
Lac qui Parle124425
Wilkin122016
Mahnomen108314
Norman10579
Grant102410
Big Stone9585
Lincoln8915
Kittson74623
Red Lake71810
Traverse6086
Unassigned563124
Lake of the Woods5285
Cook3141

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 532160

Reported Deaths: 7379
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk81677809
Linn32838430
Scott27126295
Black Hawk22334382
Woodbury20736263
Johnson20150108
Dubuque18996243
Pottawattamie16215214
Dallas15573115
Story1398059
Warren8637107
Cerro Gordo8141125
Clinton7928115
Webster7419124
Des Moines7153106
Marshall675494
Muscatine6717117
Wapello6546145
Unassigned64520
Jasper630591
Sioux622477
Lee5977106
Marion567697
Buena Vista503449
Plymouth493388
Henry427155
Benton414760
Jones413564
Bremer403873
Boone397042
Washington395464
Carroll373355
Mahaska372366
Crawford355647
Jackson324047
Dickinson317555
Buchanan312743
Delaware303255
Clay297636
Kossuth293477
Fayette290356
Hardin289253
Tama282878
Page276133
Wright270050
Cedar269527
Winneshiek267744
Hamilton262757
Floyd261049
Clayton252360
Poweshiek242043
Harrison240979
Madison237425
Butler237346
Cass235667
Iowa234336
Jefferson228544
Mills225330
Hancock222840
Winnebago222339
Cherokee217347
Appanoose210157
Lyon209842
Allamakee209456
Calhoun199519
Shelby199542
Union197141
Humboldt188231
Franklin188031
Grundy186137
Chickasaw184522
Mitchell184343
Emmet180146
Louisa178653
Sac175626
Guthrie169338
Clarke163629
Montgomery163146
Keokuk152639
Palo Alto152332
Howard150624
Monroe144340
Ida134141
Greene128818
Davis126825
Lucas126127
Monona124940
Worth12309
Pocahontas122125
Adair118239
Osceola105718
Decatur104813
Taylor100914
Fremont98913
Van Buren95922
Wayne86125
Ringgold78429
Audubon77617
Adams5869
Rochester
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 13° Lo: 5°
Feels Like: 8°
Mason City
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 14° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: -6°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 11° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: -2°
Austin
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 12° Lo: 5°
Feels Like: 5°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 16° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: -2°
A day to stay inside
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Full Forecast 12/6/21

Image

Oxbow Park Gets Improvements

Image

Research continues on Omicron and treatments 4

Image

Sean's Weather 12/6

Image

Sean's Weather 12/6

Image

MN DOC offering a $5,000 hiring bonus

Image

United Way second annual holiday light contest

Image

Asking Rochester residents about government surveillance

Image

Reviewing public safety camera policy

Image

Santa Run

Community Events