When you normally think of Mexico, you probably think beachside beers, resorts, and maybe even those collapsed cave ceiling sinkholes or “cenotes” which is a unique underwater opportunity that many tourists have taken advantage of.
Well, the world’s latest geographical discovery takes cenotes to the next level. In the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, archaeologists have discovered the world’s longest underwater cave. A passage connecting two underwater caves was created, resulting in the longest continuous floods ever discovered.
These combined caves will be referred to as the Sac Actun system, adopting the name of the longer section (the shorter one was called Dos Ojos cave). This isn’t the first discovery in these caves – in 2014, divers discovered the oldest human skeleton in the New World while exploring the longer section of Sac Actun
While connection discoveries underwater and in Yucatan’s rivers isn’t uncommon, this one was a mission which took years of searching through a winding labyrinth of various passages. Combined, the systems are a whopping 215 miles long.
The discovery was made after the project’s divers started a new phase of exploring the system and mapping new cenotes and tunnels. Months later, they finally found a subsurface connection close to Tulum.
Discoveries in the cave include evidence of extinct fauna and various unknown species, along with human inhabitants at some point much earlier in time. The archaeologists also found Mayan relics, and many Mayan descendants still reside in the Yucatan peninsula to this day.
It’s a big win for archeology and culture all over., and subaquatic archaeologists like Guillermo de Anda even refer to it as “the most important submerged archaeological site in the world.”
We hope that one day they allow tourist access into this cave system, along with the trove of discovered Mayan artifacts, because it would be way more memorable than the standard corny resort experience.