October 20, 2012

Cenote in Akumal, Mexico

Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic

A diver explores a cenote, one of hundreds of limestone sinkholes that dot the Yucatán Peninsula. These flooded caves are linked by a massive system of underground rivers extending to the sea—where fresh water bubbles from offshore cave openings. The ancient Maya believed that cenotes were entrances to the underworld.

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