Cave diving is perhaps one of the most extreme forms of SCUBA diving, as it requires a very specific skill set and intensive training in order to undertake it safely. But cave diving is also what has led to some of the most extraordinary discoveries of our planet, leading historians and geologists to a better understanding of how the world has been formed over millenia, and what, if any, role these mysterious places have played in human civilization. Truly, there can be little more exhilarating to a cave diver than finding a piece of the puzzle that no one ever even knew existed, which is exactly what happened to a pair of cave divers in northern Sweden.
Marcus Nord and Stefan Barth were nearing the end of a 90-minute cave dive deep beneath the Jämtland mountains when they came upon a water mirror, something rather unlikely in the deep recesses of the slot cave in which they were diving. Spurred on by curiosity, both men advanced and surfaced into a dry cavern measuring 15 meters in length, 5 meters in width, and 9 meters in height. At half a kilometer into Sweden’s longest flooded cave system, this was certainly the last thing they ever expected to find, especially with no experts attesting to the existence of the dry cave in the mountain range.
Nord and Barth have been working as part of the Expedition Bjurälven team for the last 6 years, diving the flooded cave system in winter seasons when the water flow is easily manageable. A Norwegian river that flows under the mountains for roughly 3 kilometers is what floods the passages, but neither divers nor historians are certain of the full extent of the tunnels as of yet, leaving much more opportunity for discovery. The revelation of the dry cavern by the Swedish divers has been exalted by spelunkers worldwide, and their discovery is to be presented at a congress in the Czech Republic this July. Check out the video taken by Marcus Nord of this incredible discovery.
Image via yuheitomi