THE world’s deepest underwater cave has been discovered in the east of the Czech Republic (捷克共和國). The cave, called Hranice Abyss, is at least 404 metres deep.
Before the Czech cave was found, the previous record-holder was a .ooded sinkhole in Italy called Pozzo del Merro which is 392 metres deep.
Krzysztof Starnawski, who led a team of explorers, said he felt like a “Columbus of the 21st century” after making the discovery near the Czech town of Hranice.
Starnawski, 48, and other divers had explored the upper parts of the cave for decades.
This time, he scuba-dived to a narrow slot in the rock formation 200 metres underground, then sent a remotely operated underwater robot that reached a depth of 404 metres. The cave could in fact be deeper, as the robot’s cord was not long enough and it did not hit the bottom.
Last year, Starnawski went 265 metres down without reaching the bottom. But after diving that deep he had to spend more than six hours in a decompression chamber. That was why he decided he needed a robot.
Diving in the cave is a challenge because it is a muddy area and has a water temperature of 15C. The water’s mineral composition damages equipment and injures exposed skin.
Starnawski has made many dives in the cave over the past 20 years. “They all had the same goal: to explore the cave further and deeper,” he said.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 6 October 2016)
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