I can't help but think of video games like Tomb Raider when I see pics of people exploring underwater caves, because the whole environment looks too fantastic to be real.
But there are plenty of real, and really beautiful, drowned caves out there that have yet to be discovered, and the Yucatan Peninsula is the place to go when underwater explorers are searching for flooded caves:
The low-altitude, limestone-laden expanse of the Yucatan peninsula is the perfect place for the formation of submerged underground caves—geological features the ancient Maya people referred to as “cenotes.”
Divers with the Gran Acuífero Maya project led by Robert Schmittner have spent the last ten months trying to prove two massive underwater cave systems in the Yucatan are connected- the 163-mile-long Sac Actun and the 51-mile-long Dos Ojos.
And on January 10th their dedication paid off when they finally found the connection between the two caves, making it the largest known flooded cave system on Earth:
Prior to the discovery, the Ox Bel Ha system, located just south of Tulum, was ranked as the world’s largest at 167 miles (270 km). According to caving naming convention, when two cave systems are found to interconnect, the largest cave absorbs the smaller one. So the Dos Ojos system is no more, subsumed by the larger Sac Actun system.