Longest Underground River Hidden Beneath Mexico

Yucatan Peninsula - Angelita

A stream of sulfate creates the appearance of an underwater river. Photo: Anatoly Beloshchin

Deep below Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, lies the water-filled cave Cenote Angelita. If you dive about 100 feet below the surface, you’ll find a ‘river’ that actually appears to flow through the water.

The underground ‘river’, composed of hydrogen sulfate, flows through the cavern pushing the fresh water above and salt water below. Shores of dirt line the underground river, complete with underwater trees lining its banks.

Yucatan Peninsula - Angelita

Below the Yucatan Peninsula - The Underwater Cave Angelita - Photo: Anatoly Beloshchin

The whole scene is so otherworldly one almost forgets the river is actually underwater. An experienced diver can actually dive below the river and view it from underneath. The river runs for some 95 miles, and empties into the Mayan Riviera coast.

The river was discovered by British diver Stephen Bogaerts and his German colleague Robbie Schmittner. Mexico boasts some of the most spectacular underwater caverns in the world, formed of thousands of years through climate and geological changes. The discovery of this hidden river of sulfate, makes the place truly unique.

Yucatan Peninsula - Angelita

Photo: Anatoly Beloshchin

There are still many unexplored areas of Mexico’s underground cento (water-filled cave) network. The channels flowing underground often deliver important nutrients to the ocean. However, because of the interconnectivity, a pollutant can easily spread through the whole network as well. The preservation of areas such as this is important, as nearly 97 percent of the world’s usable freshwater lies underground.

Tags: , , Mexico, World

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