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World's Deepest Underwater Cave Discovered in Czech Republic's Hranice Abyss

Oct 02, 2016 04:22 AM EDT

Explorers have reportedly discovered the world's deepest underwater cave found in the eastern Czech Republic. Found near the town of Hranice, the Hranice Abyss or the Hranicka Propast goes at least 404 meters or 1,325 feet deep.

Krzysztof Starnawski, a Polish explorer, had led the team. For Starnawski, the discovery made him feel like the "Columbus of the 21th Century." According to Starnawski, the flooded limestone cave was at least 404 meters deep. Starnawski scuba dived to at least 265 meters down the cave, before sending down a remote operated robot (ROV) which went to a depth of 404 meters.

Surprisingly, the ROV still did not reach the bottom of the cave. According to the Czech Speleological Society, even with the ROV at 404 meters down, "it was as deep as its rope could go, but the bottom was still nowhere in sight." Their discovery is said to beat the record holder of the world's deepest cave, which is a sinkhole in Italy called the Pozzo del Merro by 39 feet or 12 meters. Pozzo del Merro is approximated to be at 392 meters or 1,286 feet.

Their discovery of course comes with a challenge. Due to the muddy areas and water temperature of 15 degrees Celsius, equipment has been damaged. Divers also face injuries especially on areas with exposed skin. Even with the challenges posed, the team plans to go back to the cave and dive to 200 meters before sending down an ROV.

"But that is the only price to be paid for this discovery, and it was worth paying," stated Starnawski.

Starnawski plans to bring the robot through the narrow passage of the cave, which is an unexplored area, where he believes the fissure goes even deeper. The ROV device was made specifically for Starnawski's expedition and is operated by GRALmarine, a Polish firm. National Geographic was first to report on the exclusive discovery.

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