In the maze of underground caves in the jungle of Quintana Roo, on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, runs the longest known underground rivers today. Concurrently, she has the status of the most impressive Mexican attractions, which impresses with its marvelous geological formations. The twists and turns of the water flow through limestone caves extend for 215 km, It enters the system of underground rivers, called SAC-Aktun that the Mayan language is translated as "white cave". Its total length reaches several tens of thousands kilometers, of which examined is not more than 1%.
The water basin SAC-Aktun connects two complex underground cave systems, between which lies a distance of more than 181 km. According to the results of scientific research, the origin of the river took place about 65 million years. There is an assumption that in those times the territory of the Mexican Peninsula fell large meteorite that formed the enormous crater (284 km), fully dotted with numerous depressions and cracks. Some time later, the crater filled with rain water, because of which formed an extraordinary system of underground rivers.
SAC-Aktun was discovered at the whim of the case at the end of January 1989, two scuba divers cavers. They arrived in Mexico from the United States to commit a planned dive in the underground lake on the Caribbean coast, which is situated on the territory of the national tourist and historical zones of the Mayan Riviera.
The temperature of the mineral, always crystal-clear waters of the river Sak Aktun flowing in the arms of a kaleidoscope stalactite maze, constantly kept in the range of 23-24°C.
Next, we present snapshots of the caves of this underwater river, taken by a professional diver and photographer Anatoly khovantsev Belashina. Mayas since ancient times the underground rivers wore a sacred character, according to their beliefs, lurking underground streams of water represent the underworld, called Xibalba, in which fall the souls of the dead, and exit from there does not exist. Linked to this is an interesting story that contributed to the current popularity of the river Sak Aktun among tourists all over the world. One Sunny day the Mayans went hunting in the jungle of the Yucatan, just North of Tulum in the Riviera Maya. All was quiet, the hunters were slowly doing their job. When the sun crossed the line of the horizon, the Indians returned to the village, where they found that not all participants of the hunt I came home, one of the hunters mysteriously disappeared. As it turned out, wandering in search of prey, he suddenly fell to the ground and found myself lying in the cool water in the pitch darkness, where you didn't hear any, even the slightest sound. A little examining of the surrounding countryside, the Indians found that no trees or any other vegetation here. After a while he heard a sound, resembling the sound of falling drops. Then the man realized that this place is Xibalba, the underworld where there is no escape. He learned that the underground caves are kept a great number of rivers stretching for thousands of kilometers, and the probability of finding the output is practically reduced to zero. For several days the Indians sailed through limestone labyrinths in impenetrable darkness. After some time he began to hear the voices of Xibalba, razveyatsya his fear and gave a feeling of peace. He swam deeper and deeper, toward calling his votes. And when, it would seem that hope of salvation is almost lost, the Indian saw the light that penetrated from the water depth. Brave soul swam to the light, and when he emerged – he found himself in the jungle, where he waited for rescue.
Visited the underground Kingdom is an Indian name Manu. Upon returning home, he gathered all the friends and relatives and went with them into the jungle — to the place where the hole, which recently failed hunter. Using ropes, they descended into the abyss, leading to the underground river, turned on the light and saw a fantastic picture. It happened a few years ago. After some time, Manu decided to show a unique nature education to the General public he rented the land from the state, has established a generating station, which managed to hold underground-underwater lighting, and in 2012 opened a Mexican gem to visit.To enter the underground world of Sak Aktun can be a solid ladder attached to a narrow failure, descending to a depth of 15 meters. There visitors will find an incredible painting that will definitely remain as a good memory. To fully access all the picturesqueness of the river Sak Aktun using underwater tour, during which you will have the perfect opportunity to enjoy the caves, studded with stalactites, stalagmites and other unusual shapes created by nature. In the underworld there are several species of fish, giant shrimp, catfish, freshwater crayfish, and five species of bats. Fans of extreme dives from around the world visit this beautiful natural attraction. Besides them there will be able to enjoy and tourists, aesthetes, which undoubtedly will appeal to the local beauty. Not only the Mayans are credited with the river Sak Aktun supernatural abilities: many people who have been in the depths of the cave system talking about the mysteries and unexplained things that happen there. Some visitors say that this place is alive, and after visiting the underground river as if life begins again, taking a new count. Here it becomes clear why from ancient times the Mayan people revered flowing underground river not only as a vital source of freshwater, but also as an important part of the spiritual world.