Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico - Divers in Mexico have discovered the largest known underwater, flooded cave in the world. The discovery could reveal more about the pre-Hispanic, ancient community that existed in the region. The Yucatan Peninsula, where the cave is located, still holds treasures from the ancient Mayan community.
The cave is made of two massive underwater caverns that are connected. The cave stretches across 216 miles, according to the Gran Acuífero Maya (GAM), the team of explorers who discovered the cave.
The cave was discovered near the beach resort of Tulum, reported Reuters. The two caves, Sac Actun and Dos Ojos, measured at 163 miles and 52 miles, respectively. 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.
"The amazing 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," Guillermo de Anda, director of the GAM, told Reuters. He called it an "amazing" find that would help us to better understand the Maya civilization.
The discovery is the result of decades of work touring hundreds of miles of underwater caves in the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico, according to the exploration director, Robert Schmittner. Schmittner has been exploring the Sac Actun cave for 14 years. "Now," Schmittner said in a statement, "everyone's job is to conserve it."Read the full article at newsweek.com.