Mammoth Cave in Kentucky is the world’s recent longest cave of any kind. However, archaeologists and divers on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula's discovery will change that. They found a passage that connects two underwater caves which means we may have the world’s longest continuous flooded cave right in front of us.
Great Maya Aquifer Project's divers said the discovered combined cave is about 216 miles (347 kilometers) long. Namely the Sac Actun and Dos Ojos, these caves were both previously identified. They lie close to the Caribbean coast town of Tulum.
It has been long known that Yucatan’s underground caves and rivers are almost always connected. However, it is the finding of this connection itself that took years of searching and passing through labyrinths and passageways. A lot of caves in the Yucatan are actually known to be above sea level and were dry or partly dry at some point before.
There are also evidence of early human inhabitants and even extinct fauna inside some cave systems. If this is amazing, relics of Mayan culture, whose descendants still live in the peninsula, were also found there!
“This immense cave represents the most important submerged archaeological site in the world, as it has more than a hundred archaeological contexts,” Guillermo de Anda, a subaquatic archaeologist, said of the find. “Along this system, we had documented evidence of the first settlers of America, as well as extinct fauna and, of course, the Mayan culture.”
Now, the combined cave will be called the Sac Actun system, which is after the name of the longer section.
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