Divers find the world’s largest underwater cave system, which is filled with Mayan mysteries

Researchers in Mexico have discovered the world’s longest underwater cave system, which is rich in priceless artifacts.


Scientists in Mexico have discovered the world’s largest flooded cave system, which stretches for 216 miles (347 kilometers) and is filled with antiquities. The cave system is a significant archaeological find that promises to shed light on the Mayan civilization’s secrets.


The Great Maya Aquifer Project (GAM), led by underwater archaeologist Guillermo de Anda of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, has been exploring underwater caves along the Caribbean coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula for decades. There are 358 freshwater flooded cave systems in the region, spanning over 870 km (1,400km).


De Anda explained that their achievement has far-reaching implications:

“This massive cave is the world’s most important submerged archaeological site,” de Anda remarked. “It contains almost a hundred archaeological contexts, including evidence of America’s first settlers, extinct wildlife, and, of course, the Maya culture.”

The present study took ten months to complete and proved that two cave systems – the Sac Actun System and the Dos Ojos caverns – are essentially part of a single, massive hollow in the Earth.


GAM exploration director Robert Schmittner told the Mexican newspaper El Pais that the research team came close to proving the link between the two massive cave systems on several occasions.

“It was like attempting to follow a body’s veins,” Schmittner remarked. “It was a maze of routes that sometimes intersected and sometimes diverged. We had to be quite cautious.”

After demonstrating that the two cave mazes are linked, the researchers believe that another three underwater cave systems can be added to what is presently the world’s longest cave labyrinth.


Divers have discovered a considerable number of Mayan artifacts such as ceramics, bones (including those of early humans, giant sloths, and tigers), and extinct wildlife in the caves, which are of great scientific value.

The caves, according to De Anda, are a “time tunnel that transfers you to a place 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.”

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