|Sistema Ox Bel Ha|
|Location||Quintana Roo, Mexico|
|Depth||57.3 m (188 ft)|
|Length||270.17 km (167.88 mi)|
|Difficulty||Advanced cave diving|
|Cave survey||Grupo de Exploración Ox Bel Ha|
Sistema Ox Bel Ha (from Mayan meaning "Three Paths of Water"; short Ox Bel Ha) is a cave system in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is the longest explored underwater cave in the world 270.2 kilometers (167.9 mi) of underwater passages. There are more than 140 cenotes in the system.and ranks fourth including dry caves. As of May 2017 the surveyed length is
The Naranjal subsystem is part of Sistema Ox Bel Ha. Three prehistoric human remains have been found within the subsystem. The Jailhouse cenote, or Las Palmas, is the entrance to the locations of the Muknal and Las Palmas caves. The skeleton of an 18 to 20-year-old woman, Eve of Naharon , (13,454±117 cal BP) was discovered at a location around 368 m (1,207 ft) away from the Jailhouse cenote entrance. The skeleton of a 44 to 50-year-old woman, Las Palmas Lady (8,937±203 cal BP) was found at a location around 2 km (1.2 mi) away from the Jailhouse cenote entrance. The Muknal cave, part of the Naranjal subsystem, contained the remains of a 40 to 50-year-old man, the Muknal Grandfather (9,600 cal BP). Unlike the other two skeletons in the subsystem, the Muknal Grandfather shows evidence of secondary burial. Analysis of these skeletons suggests that Ox Bel Ha was likely used as an important site for ritual burial.
A new genus and species of extinct peccary, Muknalia minima, was identified from a fossil mandible found in the Muknal cave of the Ox Bel Ha system.
A peccary is a medium-sized pig-like hoofed mammal of the family Tayassuidae. They are found throughout Central and South America and in the southwestern area of North America. Peccaries usually measure between 90 and 130 cm in length, and a full-grown adult usually weighs about 20 to 40 kg.
Cozumel is an island and municipality in the Caribbean Sea off the eastern coast of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, opposite Playa del Carmen. It is separated from the mainland by Cozumel Channel and is close to the Yucatán Channel. The municipality is part of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Cave diving is underwater diving in water-filled caves. It may be done as an extreme sport, a way of exploring flooded caves for scientific investigation, or for the search for and recovery of divers lost while diving for one of these reasons. The equipment used varies depending on the circumstances, and ranges from breath hold to surface supplied, but almost all cave diving is done using scuba equipment, often in specialised configurations with redundancies such as sidemount or backmounted twinset. Recreational cave diving is generally considered to be a type of technical diving due to the lack of a free surface during large parts of the dive, and often involves decompression.
The Riviera Maya is a tourism and resort district south of Cancun, Mexico. It straddles the coastal Federal Highway 307, along the Caribbean coastline of the state of Quintana Roo, located in the eastern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula. Historically, this district started at the city of Playa del Carmen and ended at the village of Tulum, although the towns of Puerto Morelos, situated to the north of Playa del Carmen, as well as the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, situated 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the south of Tulum, are both currently being promoted as part of the Riviera Maya tourist corridor.
A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Especially associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings.
The Yucatán Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico, with the northern coastline on the Yucatán Channel. The peninsula lies east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a northwestern geographic partition separating the region of Central America from the rest of North America. It is approximately 181,000 km2 (70,000 sq mi) in area, and is almost entirely composed of limestone.
Dos Ojos is part of a flooded cave system located north of Tulum, on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The exploration of Dos Ojos began in 1987 and still continues. The surveyed extent of the cave system is 82 kilometers (51 mi) and there are 28 known sinkhole entrances, which are locally called cenotes. In January 2018, a connection was found between Sistema Dos Ojos and Sistema Sac Actun. The smaller Dos Ojos became a part of Sac Actun, making the Sistema Sac Actun the longest known underwater cave system in the world.
Sistema Sac Actun is an underwater cave system situated along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatán Peninsula with passages to the north and west of the village of Tulum. Discovery of a connection to the Sistema Dos Ojos in 2008 made it the longest known underwater cave system.
The Quintana Roo Speleological Survey (QRSS) was established in 1990 for the safe exploration, survey and cartography of the underwater and dry caves and cenotes of Quintana Roo, Mexico, supported by the National Speleological Society.
Chichen Itza was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Terminal Classic period. The archaeological site is located in Tinúm Municipality, Yucatán State, Mexico.
Eve of Naharon is the skeleton of a 25- to 30-year-old human female found in the Naharon section of the underwater cave Sistema Naranjal in Mexico near the town of Tulum, around 80 miles (130 km) south west of Cancún. The Naranjal subsystem is a part of the larger Sistema Ox Bel Ha. The skeleton is carbon dated to 13,600 years ago, which makes it one of the oldest documented human finds in the Americas.
Naia is the name given to a 12,000–13,000 year-old human skeleton of a teenage female that was found in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Her bones were part of a 2007 discovery of a cache of animal bones in an underwater chamber called Hoyo Negro in the Sistema Sac Actun. At the time of Naia's death, the cave system was mostly dry, and she likely died falling into Hoyo Negro.
Chan Hol, part of the Toh ha cave system, is a cenote and submerged cave system in Quintana Roo, Mexico, of interest to paleoanthropologists. The remains of two prehistoric human fossils were discovered within the cave system. Along with Eve of Naharon, Naia, the Man of El Templo and the Woman of Las Palmas, the two fossils at Chan Hol are among several ancient Paleoamerican skeletons found in the submerged cave systems of the Yucatán Peninsula around Tulum, Quintana Roo.
The following index is provided as an overview of and topical guide to recreational dive sites:
Xibalbaonyx is an extinct genus of megalonychid ground sloth known from the Late Pleistocene of Mexico. Two species are known: X. oviceps from the Yucatan peninsula and X. microcaninus from Jalisco. The genus is named after Xibalba, the underworld in Maya mythology.
Recreational dive sites – Specific places that recreational divers go to enjoy the underwater environment or are used for training purposes
Panthera balamoides is an extinct species of the genus Panthera that lived in the Yucatan Peninsula during the Pleistocene. Recent studies suggest it is a type of a climbing cat. The fossil was found associated to 13,400 year old human remains and it was found by underwater cave researcher Jerónimo Aviles, a local scientist in 2011.
Hells Bells are hollow bell- or cone-shaped structures of carbonate that can reach lengths of 2 metres. They are found underwater in El Zapote cenote in Quintana Roo, Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula; similar formations exist in other caves. In a certain depth range, such structures cover the entire surface of the cave including submerged tree trunks and other Hells Bells, although they never touch each other.
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