While exploring the flooded caves of San Actun and Dos Ojos in Tulum, Mexico, archaeologists have stumbled upon an incredible, record-breaking find — which may also cast more light on the history and mysterious rites of the ancient Mayans.
According to CNN, members of the Great Maya Aquifer Project (GAM) team have spent the past two decades exploring and studying these caves, located in the Yucatan peninsula. But only recently have they discovered that the two largest caverns are actually connected — creating what is now considered the largest known underwater cave in the world, reportedly comprised of over two hundred miles of tunnels and chambers.
GAM director Guillermo de Anda, a researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History, stated that many of these submerged grottoes contain “documented evidence of the first settlers of America, as well as extinct fauna and, of course, the Mayan culture.”
The Mayans considered these vast, eerie caves to be sacred sites, where the priest class could directly communicate with the gods.
Among the next step for the GAM team is to map out the entire labyrinth of caves within San Actun, where they hope to learn even more about Mayan culture and rituals, as well as the ecosystem of this bizarre and fascinating undersea realm.