When you hear the word “cave,” you might think of a natural void or a large space that is underground. However, did you know that there is an amazing natural phenomenon called an underwater cave? Some scientists and divers have discovered many amazing facts about underwater caves. An underwater cave is a large space like a conventional cave, but it’s located in the depths of the sea. Underwater caves is also known as Cenotes, which naturally formed by the formation of holes that humans can access through diving. We can find several underwater caves in several parts of the world. To name a view, the are Smoo Cave in Scotland, Cuevas de Mármol in Chile, Homestead Crater Utah in the USA, and Phang Nga Bay Cave in Thailand.
If you are a diver who’s up for a challenge to dive into an underwater cave, you might want to stick around. If you just curious to know more about some amazing yet terrifying facts about underwater caves, you might want to sit down as well. In this article, we have compiled a list 17 most terrifying facts about underwater caves that will give you goosebumps. Let’s get started!
1. Tremendous Erosion Created Underwater Caves
The first fact about underwater caves must be the most important thing that we need to know. Do you know how Underwater caves were formed? It was a result of the tremendous and continuous erosion caused by the waves.
The shifting of large rocks in the sea such as fractures, faults, or rock foliations has also created underwater caves. Scientifically, underwater caves are part of an ordinary cave that is completely submerged by water. This fact was discovered by various scientists and also reliable divers. Moreover, underwater caves can also be formed due to the phenomenon of melting ice sheets, so that sea levels rise and drown the cave.
2. 216 Miles of Underwater Cave
Do you know what is the largest underwater cave in the world? A diver has managed to find the largest and longest underwater cave in the world. Expeditions conducted to explore the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico have resulted in the discovery of an underwater cave along 216 miles. It was about 347 km long! Crazy, isn’t it?
This underwater cave is dubbed the submerged wonderland or the amazing Sac Actun cave system. The Mayans believed that this underwater cave was the entrance to the underworld. There was an amazing fact about this cave, which was the discovery of Mayan artifacts. People found artifacts like human bones and ancient pottery inside this underwater cave.
3. It Has Infinite Depth!
Underwater caves are famous for the amazing depth. This is the most exciting fact about underwater caves to know. No one would have ever thought that an underground cave had almost no bounds in depth. An expedition conducted in the Czech Republic made an astonishing discovery about this!
Since most underwater caves have extreme depth, people also call underwater caves as the infinite abyss. There is one underwater cave called the Hranice Abyss, and it has a resistance of about 1300 feet, or almost 400 m! You will run out of oxygen due to the tremendous pressure of the seawater if you dive into this underground cave.
4. Occupied By Exotic and Amazing Marine Life!
After many research done by experts, the underwater cave is actually a comfortable home for many extraordinary natural biota. You will easily find marine animals such as leaf fish, manta rays, moray eels, barracuda fish, balloon fish, angelfish, stingrays, green turtles, and unique butterflyfish inside the caves.
Underwater caves have walls that become a comfortable and safe place for many marine life to live. It also has a dark zone where harboring organism, that we don’t normally see in shallow water, live. If you want to visit this kind of underwater cave, then you can go to Cancun beach, Pulau Mujeres.
5. Very Strong Water Pressure
Water and air pressure are the most essential aspects for divers to go underwater. Do you know the amount of pressure a diver must feel when diving into an underwater cave? The air pressure at sea level is about 15 pounds per square inch (psi), which can support a column of water for more than 30 feet high. You can calculate the water pressure based on a pressure increase of 1.5 psi per foot.
Therefore, you will need adequate equipment if you want to dive into an underwater cave. Do bear in mind that the amount of air pressure can increase significantly inside large underwater caves with narrow openings.
6. Takes At Least 100,000 Years To Form
Underwater caves are one of the most amazing natural phenomena. It would be a great opportunity if you have the chance to visit at least one underwater cave in your life. However, no one has ever estimated the actual age of an underwater cave. Underwater caves are formed from passageways, which allow water to seep into them. The longer the run time allows, more water flows through it. Underwater caves take at least 100,000 years to form. Shifting rock and water moving will continue to occur during this time. After this long period, the underwater cave will be large enough to accommodate a variety of underwater animals and marine biota.
7. Do Underwater Caves Have Stalagmites and Stalactites?
It is common to find stalactites and stalagmites in a cave. Stalactites are parts that grow and form from the ceiling of a cave. However, underwater caves also have these two components. Recent research conducted by several researchers mentions that there is a small group of stalactites that appear to have calcified in an underwater cave, located on the Yucatan Peninsula. The shape of the stalactites and stalagmites did not have a significant difference from those of the above-ground caves.
8. First Mine and Skeleton In Underwater Cave
Due to the formation that occurs for thousands of years, the underwater caves become the home for various ancient and antique objects. Many divers found various ancient items inside the caves. In an underwater cave on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, ancient skeletons from mining activities carried out by early humans were found. Divers found the ancient skeleton in a narrow maze that meanders in a now-submerged sinkhole cave. Recent discoveries have also uncovered piles of mining debris and the remains of man-made fires from 10 to 20,000 years ago , which reveal the early history of mining in America.
9. Watch Out For The Fierce Sharks In The Underwater Caves
Stalagmites, stalagmites, and underwater cavernous cavities make underwater caves dangerous. Various wild sea animals such as sharks can appear unexpectedly inside the caves.
A terrible incident happened in Mexico when school girls went scuba diving through an underwater cave. There was a collapse of cave debris and trapped the school girls. The debris-covered the underwater cave exit, waking a group of great white sharks. The sharks have pale skin and completely blind. However, they attacked the girls who tried to escape with their sharp teeth, and the victim suffered severe bite wounds. Thankfully, all the girls survived as they were taken immediately to the hospital after the incident. Don’t let this happen to you!
10. There is Air in The Underwater Cave!
Underwater caves contain many mysteries wrapped in an amazing natural phenomena! The mysteries are the things that make underwater caves very interesting to explore. It’s a surprising fact that there is air in underground caves. This phenomenon occurs due to the process of sucking air down the cave shaft by falling and flowing water. The pressure then trap the air inside the cave. This process produces a pressurized supply of air in the underwater cave.
11. It Has a Very Pleasant Temperature
Temperature is one of the most determining factors for safety and comfort when divers go into an underwater cave. If the temperature is very cold then you will freeze inside and you’ll find it difficult to breathe. On the other hand, if the temperature is too hot, your energy will drain very quickly.
The surprising fact is that the underwater cave has a very pleasant temperature. If you dive into an underwater cave, you will feel a temperature of about 78°F or the equivalent of 25.5ºC. This is the same as the temperature of an air-conditioned room. Therefore, you can dive into the underwater cave at the right and pleasant temperature.
12. Have Beautiful and Exotic Water Colors
Did you know that underwater caves are starting to become a popular tourist destination? Unusual and amazing natural phenomena make underwater caves visited by many divers and adventurers. They love to see extraordinary natural beauty, and the underwater cave has beautiful and exotic watercolors! The water that collects in underwater caves is usually a clear turquoise or blue color.
The combination of the pressure effect with the minerals contained in the surrounding area makes the water in the underwater cave very stunning to look at. Examples of underwater caves that people love to visit are the Great Blue Hole in Belize, Grotto Azzurra in Italy, Cathedral Cove Sea Cave in New Zealand, Cenote Dos Ojos in Mexico, and Kuredu Caves in the Maldives.
13. There are Still Many Unexplored Underground Caves
Difficult access and the need for proper equipment make many underground caves undiscovered. The underwater cave is one of the ancient archaeological sites with large size. Most of the ancient underwater caves are still untouched. If you are an archaeological site researcher, then you can preserve one of the few places on earth that have not been damaged. Discover new underwater caves and publish your findings of them.
14. It Contains No Natural Light
The deeper an underwater cave goes, the harder it is for sunlight to reach. Some underwater caves don’t even contain any natural light at all. This condition is actually natural, because the sunlight is not able to reach a very deep part of the underwater cave. This can make underwater caves become very dangerous, even for professional divers. Don’t get trapped in it, make sure to bring an adequate light source.
15. Freshwater and Saltwater Encounters Can Occur in Underwater Caves
Did you know that underwater caves can also produce Halocline phenomena? A Halocline is a phenomenon where saltwater and seawater meet, which creates two immiscible layers of water due to differences in density. The salinity level increases sharply with the depth of the underwater cave through the Halocline layer. This adds to the uniqueness of the underwater cave.
16. Fees and Licenses for Diving in Underwater Caves
To dive into an underwater cave requires proper training. You must have sufficient expertise to do this. You can take courses to earn a license as a professional underwater cave diver. In total, you will need about $2100 for the most complete package and will get a license. If you’re interested, immediately register yourself and get your license!
17. The Dangers of Diving in an Underwater Cave Without a Professional
Diving in an underwater cave is not as easy as you think. You need special assistance from a professional diver if you want to dive for the first time. Why is that? The potential for accidents and death can arise when you dive into underwater caves. High water pressure can make you short of breath. Furthermore, the underwater cavern debris that may collapse can trap you and endanger your life. So, always be accompanied by a professional if you are going to dive into an underwater cave.
Those are the most fascinating and terrifying facts about underwater caves that impress you a lot. Which fact is the most fun? Give your answer in the comments column!