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Check Out This Secret Underwater Cave That Scientists Just Discovered

YUCATAN PENINSULA: GEOLOGICAL HOTSPOT

File this under your daily wtf news: Scientists are just starting to explore a secret 2016 mile underwater cave created by an asteroid. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is known for its geological wonders. Most interestingly, it's the site of the Chicxulub Crater which is the site of the massive asteroid that cracked the Earth and possibly ended the age of dinosaurs.

It is also the place where the incredible Mayan culture thrived, building giant structures all over the area starting as far back as 750 BC. 

Now explorers have documented the largest flooded cave system in the world, which has links to both. 

Photo: Herbert Meyrl, Project GAM

THAT IS A LONG WAY TO HOLD YOUR BREATH

Originally thought to be two caves - The Dos Ojos (Two Eyes) and Sac Actun (White Cave) - the pair has now been found to link together creating a massive 216-mile long labyrinth of passageways that has been a secret for millions of years.

The project to explore the cave system has been spearheaded by the Gran Aciufero Mayan (GAM). The discovery of the inter-connected cave system was published in 2017 but the exploration director Robert Schmittner has been researching the find for 14 years.

Photo: Herbert Meyrl, Project GAM

The cave system also connects to ancient Mayan sites - a secret passageway in the Kukulcan Temple leads to an underground aquatic reservoir which is part of the giant cave system.

“This huge cave represents the most important submerged archaeological site in the world,” Guillermo de Anda, a researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History and director of the GAM.

 

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