‘Untouched By Humans.’ Mysterious Pool Found 700 Feet Deep In Bowels Of New Mexico Cave

Recently posted news of the discovery this week on Facebook  at Carlsbad Caverns, National Park enlightened all to a pool that was found to be “completely pristine” with signs of bacteria found in the water, that was seen to have “evolved without human presence”

The excursion into Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico into these “virgin” cave passages; that was called this, as it is believed no human has ever been there before!

An isolated pool with strange murky liquid that resembled something like a thick lime yogurt and that was enclosed by white frosted rock, was discovered by the leader of this excursion, Geoscientist Max Wisshak.  He explained to McClathy news that the colour of the water is a misconception though and that it is actually “crystal clear”.

Discovered 700 feet below the opening of  Lechuguilla Cave, is one of the 10 lengthiest caves worldwide and also known as a ‘sister cave’ in the wilderness of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This incredible National Park encompasses 46,766 acres and is where this interesting find was discovered in 1993, but only released in October.

Rodney Horrocks, Chief of Natural and Cultural Resources at Carlsbad Caverns National Park said “This pool has been isolated for hundreds of thousands of years and had never seen light before that day.”

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Wisshak explained “Such untouched pools are scientifically important because water samples are relatively free of contaminants and the microbial organisms that may live in those pools are only those that belong there.”

“Contamination can occur from the surface above the cave, but in case of Lechuguilla Cave, that’s not a big issue, since it is situated in a well-protected wilderness area. Contamination can also occur via aerosols in the air. However, a newly discovered pool in Lechuguilla Cave is about as pristine as it gets.”

Experts have intimated that a discovery such as this found in a cavern of 328 feet in length, has vital significance due to being untouched and unseen by humans for hundreds of thousands of years.

A new variety of microbes have also been discovered when samples were taken from the pools in Lechuguilla by microbiologists and could ultimately lead to more wonders of this discovery to be shared.

Relating to where the source of the water comes from, it has been explained by Horrocks that it is most probable that rain may have leached through the covering of limestone and then seeped and dribbled down the cave walls to end up in the pool that is “several inches deep” about a foot in width and 2 feet in length.

 

Horrocks said, there are many more such pools in the passage and the largest has been called “Lake of Liquid Sky”

To determine the age of this formation has not yet been clarified, as it is still a developing discovery explained by Horrocks, who further said “So, the top layer dates to this year and the ones below are older. These formations typically grow and stop growing for varying periods of time, so the layers on the bottom can be very old.”

Wisshak has applied for a funding grant to be able to revisit this site for a more in depth scientific study of the crystals, as the pool and the cave passage both hold barite that is a particularly rare find in caves.

Research will be published on theses rare barite crystals found in Lechuguilla Cave when they are able to undertake a deeper scientific investigation.

Wisshak said that during the exploration of the cave “numerous rope drops” were performed in the 1.3 miles of passages of some 4,344 feet in the cave in October – uncovering new discoveries. There was no sign of life that was “visible to the naked eye” but it was noted that bat skeletons that are some thousands of years old were found in some places.

Via Miami Herald

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