Canadian news outlets this week reported that employees of the Ministry of National Resources had discovered a huge cave. The cave is so enormous that just the mouth is 100 meters (328 feet) by 60 meters in size (197 feet). But perhaps most amazing of all, according to specialists, this is the very first time the cave has been observed by human eyes despite its enormous size.
The cave was discovered in the most distinctly Canadian manner imaginable: while carrying out a routine caribou census. While circling Wells Gray Provincial Park in British Columbia in a helicopter, the team made their unique discovery.
During the cave excursion in September, geologist Catherine Hickson said, “My first thought was that there can’t be a cave there; it’s impossible.”
Right now, according to the cavers, it is unquestionably one of the largest in Canada.
“Your line of sight is almost 600 feet [183 meters] when you’re standing on the edge and staring down into it. Lines of sight of 600 feet are impossible in Canadian caverns; it just doesn’t happen “John Pollack, a surveyor and speleologist who took part in the expedition, remarked, according to Canadian Geographic.
The fact that this cave has stayed fully undiscovered up until this point makes it even more astonishing. There is no mention of this unidentified cave elsewhere, according to researchers. They will speak with local indigenous groups to see if their records reflect its existence. They’re also making an appeal to the general public, urging them to come forward if they know anything about it or its past.
Hickson speculates that until relatively recently, the region would have been completely covered in snow throughout the year, which would have concealed the cave’s mouth. (Global warming, you’re great.) The cave has managed to avoid human habitation due to the snow and its unfavorable location—until this accidental discovery.
Lee Hollis, a cave diver, was the only one to enter the cave so far. He descended 80 meters (262 feet), but the cave’s waterfall, which could spew up to 5 to 15 cubic meters of water per second, prevented him from exploring any further. Experts think the waterfall feeds to an underground river that emerges 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) from the cave mouth, 500 meters (1,640 feet) below the waterfall.
The cave’s location is being kept a secret for the time being and has been given the temporary moniker “Sarlacc Pit” in honor of the horrifyingly horrific pit monster from Star Wars. The scientists are hopeful that doing this will conserve the (as of yet) unexplored natural wonder and give specialists a chance to look at it more closely.
Pallack claims that the find “promises a dramatic new chapter in the history of Canadian cave excavation” and is “a huge new find in Western Canada.”