In one of the world’s biggest underwater discoveries, Mexican divers have found a flooded cave near Tulum, a beach resort on the Yucatan peninsula. The cave is part of the Sac Actun cave system, which now measures a total length of 347 km.
The discovery was made by members of Gran Acuifero Mayaa, a project dedicated to the study and preservation of underground water systems in Yucatan. After a few months of exploring divers found an underwater link between two existing caves. After examining the flooded area divers found rocks and stones with ancient markings, grave sites and remains of human bones.
The flooded cave may be connected with the ancient Maya civilisation and could help us understand the Mayan culture. The Yucatan peninsula is full of monuments and ancient Mayan sites.
Mayan cities and temples were built over sinkholes, so-called cenotes. They were natural pits that were formed by the collapse of limestone, revealing subterranean rivers.
- ancient = very old
- collapse = when something suddenly falls down or apart
- connect = to join together
- dedicated = to work on something very hard
- discovery = to find something new for the first time
- diver = person who swims or works under water using special equipment that helps them breathe
- examine = to look at something very closely
- flooded cave = natural hole in the earth that is full of water
- grave site = place where people are buried
- length = how long something is
- limestone = type of rock that lets water through and has calcium in it
- link = connection
- measure = how large something is
- peninsula = piece of land that is surrounded by water on three sides
- pit = hole in the ground
- preservation = to try to keep something in its original state
- remains = what is left over from a human body
- resort = town where people spend their holidays
- reveal = to show something that you didn’t see before
- sinkhole = a hole in the ground caused when the surface collapses