According to Canadian news reports this week, the Ministry of National Resources’ staff has discovered a very large cave. The tunnel is so large that its mouth is 100 meters (328 feet) by 60 meters. (197 feet). What’s most amazing is that, despite its enormous size, experts think this is the first time human eyes have ever observed the tunnel. 01

The cave was discovered in the most Canadian ways—during a regular caribou counting exercise. While hovering above British Columbia’s Wells Gray Provincial Park in a helicopter, the crew made their unusual discovery.

“My immediate reaction was that there can’t be a cave there; it’s impossible,” Catherine Hickson, a geologist involved in the expedition of the cave in September, told Global News.

“At the moment, [the cavers are] saying it certainly is one of the largest in Canada.”

“When you’re standing on the edge looking down into it, your line of sight is nearly 600 feet [183 meters]. You don’t get lines of sight of 600 feet in Canadian caves – it just doesn’t happen,” surveyor and speleologist John Pollack, who was also involved in the expedition, added, reports Canadian Geographic.



But what makes this cave even more remarkable is that it has been entirely hidden until now. According to researchers, no mention of this unnamed tunnel has ever been found anywhere. They will confer with indigenous communities to determine whether its existence is confirmed in their records. They are also making a public appeal, urging anyone with information about it or its past to come forward.

Hickson surmises that up until very recently, the region would have been permanently covered in snow, which would have obscured the cave’s mouth and kept it concealed. The cave has managed to stay free of people until this accidental discovery, thanks to the snow and its less-than-convenient position.

A caver, Lee Hollis, is the only person to have entered the cave. The cave’s cascade, which could spew out up to 5 to 15 cubic meters of water every second, prevented him from exploring further after he descended 80 meters (262 feet). The underground river is thought by experts to emerge 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) from the tunnel entrance, 500 meters (1,640 feet) below the waterfall.

The cave site, which has been given the temporary moniker “Sarlacc Pit” in honor of the horrifyingly gruesome pit monster from Star Wars, is being kept a secret, at least for the time being.

The scientists hope doing this will safeguard the unexplored natural wonder and give specialists a chance to look at it more closely.

According to Pallack, the discovery represents “a major new find in Western Canada and promises a dramatic new chapter in the story of Canadian cave exploration.”

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