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World's Longest Underwater Cave May Hold Mayan Secrets

World's Longest Underwater Cave May Hold Mayan Secrets

A scuba diver measures the length of Sac Aktun underwater cave system as part of the Gran Acuifero Maya Project near Tulum, in Quintana Roo state, Mexico, Jan. 24, 2014. (Herbert Mayrl/Reuters courtesy Gran Acuifero Maya Project)

By    |   Wednesday, 17 January 2018 02:30 PM

Divers in Mexico found the world’s longest underwater cave when they discovered two separate caverns turned out to be connected. 

Sac Actun, the flooded cave in the northeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula, turned out to be a total of 216 miles long, the longest underwater cave on record.

Researchers from the Gran Acuifero Maya (GAM) Project — part of the National Institute of Anthropology and History — have been exploring the underwater caves they thought were separate for 14 years. Scientists believe the site may shed light on the Mayan civilization that lived in the area before the Spanish conquest.

INAH investigator Guillermo de Anda said the discovery was “the most important underwater archaeological site in the world and home to hundreds of preserved secrets,” according to LAD Bible.

Besides Mayan culture, Anda believes the cave also holds evidence of the first American civilizations and extinct marine animals.

The cave’s average depth is a stunning 12.4 miles, but some areas are between only six and 300 feet deep. 

The world's previous longest underwater cave was the Ox Bel Ha system, also in Quintana Roo, with underwater passages measuring 167.9 miles, LAD Bible reported. 

Underwater caves in a network of sinkholes called cenotes had religious significance for the Mayan people who once lived in the region, and whose ancestors still live there, the Daily Mail reported

Studying the cave may help researchers and historians discover how ancient Mayan rituals emerged and how they may have been assimilated into the Hispanic cultures that followed.

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The world's longest underwater cave was discovered in Mexico when divers realized two separate caverns actually are connected.
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Wednesday, 17 January 2018 02:30 PM
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