An incredible cave network has been discovered 700 feet below a national park.
Stunning photos show a “miraculous” blue pool – never seen through human eyes – found in the depths of New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
The otherworldly swimming pool contains milky aquamarine fluid, surrounded by white frosted rock, the Kansas City Star reports.
It is believed that the cave has evolved over thousands of years and has remained untouched by humans.
“This pool has been isolated for hundreds of thousands of years and had never seen light before,” explains Rodney Horrocks, head of natural and cultural resources in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
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The creepy discovery was made 700 feet below the entrance to the Lechuguilla Cave, one of the 10 longest caves in the world.
Although it was discovered in 1993, explorers first entered their “virgin” passages in October.
Geoscientist Max Wisshak posted news about the discovery on Facebook: “Exploration in caves sometimes yields amazing sights.”
Found in the Lechuguilla Cave, this cave pool appears to be completely pristine.
“The edges under this pool appear to be ‘pole fingers’, which could be bacteria colonies that have fully evolved without human presence.”
The expedition, led by Wisshak, included the mapping of 1.3 miles of passages and multiple ‘rope drops’.
It is not known when the cave network was formed.
While no visible signs of life were found, the expedition did come across numerous bat skeletons, believed to be thousands of years old.
The pool is about one meter wide, two meters long and a few centimeters deep.
Although it looks cloudy in photos, the pool is actually crystal clear and probably old filtered rainwater that seeped through the cave’s limestone.
“Such untouched pools are scientifically important because water samples are relatively free of contaminants, and the microbial organisms that can live in those pools are only those that belong there,” Wisshak continued.
“Pollution can take place from the surface above the cave, but in the case of the Lechuguilla Cave this is not a major problem as it is located in a well-protected natural area. It can also be aerosolized in the air.
“But a newly discovered pool in Lechuguilla Cave is about as pristine as it gets.”
The cave network contained several similar pools, the largest of which is now called the “Lake of Liquid Sky”.