Explorers in Czech Republic have finished their expedition to Hranická Propast or Hranice Abyss, an underwater cave. They confirmed that it really is the deepest underwater cave on earth.
Led by Polish diver, Krzysztof Starnawski, the team was able to reach a depth of 404 meters with the use of remotely operated vehicle (ROV). This means that the underwater cave, which was discovered in 1999, is 12 metres deeper than Pozzo del Merro in Italy, the world’s second deepest underwater cave.
Starnawski had completed dives over the past two years
. Sponsored by National Geographic, the most recent expedition had Starnawski dived down to 200 metres in order to affix a guideline for the ROV to follow. The team then deployed the RV and Starnawski accompanied it down to 60 metres.
Starnawski told National Geographic
, “From there, the team at the surface navigated it, via fibre-optic cable, down along my new line to 200 metres deep. Then it went down to explore the uncharted territory - to the record-breaking depth of 404 metres. The ROV that reached 404 metres has a depth gauge that was tested and certified by our state commission, so we are 100 percent sure the measurements were accurate.”
While the researchers may be sure that Hranická Propast is indeed the deepest known underwater cave in the world, further research is still needed.
"This cave is very unique because it’s like a volcano, formed from hot mineral water bubbling from the bottom up, rather than rain coming from the top down like most caves," Starnawski told National Geographic