FEB 15, 2017 9:54 AM PST

Cave diving thrills


Cave diving is perhaps the most dangerous type of exploration that humans have yet to pursue. Even more dangerous than exiting our own atmosphere and entering into space, is the exploration into inner Earth itself. Cave divers often experience extreme water temperatures, migraine-causing pressures, claustrophobic-inducing spaces, and toxic gases at the turn of a cave corner. And yet for those thrill seekers brave (and crazy) enough to put their trust in a single oxygenated tube and swim deep into the oceans' unknowns, the ecstasy of exploration is worth all the risk. That, and the scientific gains.

"It turns out that caves are repositories of amazing life forms, of species that we never knew existed before," says Jill Heinerth, a cave diver who delivered the TED talk in this video.

Most cave-adapted species are crustaceans, reports National Geographic in an article elaborating the Bahamas' unique cave systems. Many species, like the remipedes, are "living fossils"-live species closely resembling those preserved in the fossil record. Such species provide biologists, physicists, and geologists crucial information about the species evolution and Earth's geologic history, which can be used to predict patterns on our planet for future generations. For paleoclimatologists, cave diving supplies the clues that scientists need to understand our environments - both terrestrial and marine - more coherently as a ever-connected entity.
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Bacteria More Lethal and Antibiotic Resistant in Space
JUL 27, 2020
Bacteria More Lethal and Antibiotic Resistant in Space
Research has shown that bacteria are more lethal and resistant to antibiotics when exposed to microgravity (a lack of gr ...
JUL 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Light from the Big Bang Reveals Age of the Universe
JUL 31, 2020
Light from the Big Bang Reveals Age of the Universe
From analyzing ancient light emitted by the Big Bang, physicists have been able to provide a new estimate of the Earth&# ...
AUG 06, 2020
Plants & Animals
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
AUG 06, 2020
Swine Fever Threatens Critically Endangered Indian Hogs
The Associated Press reports that the world's smallest and rarest wild pig species is undergoing its own virus lockd ...
AUG 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Planet-wide Rainstorms Created Lakes on Ancient Mars
AUG 26, 2020
Planet-wide Rainstorms Created Lakes on Ancient Mars
Researchers from the University of Texas have found that a huge amount of liquid water likely rained down from the skies ...
SEP 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Turning Pulsars into Deep Space Beacons
SEP 24, 2020
Turning Pulsars into Deep Space Beacons
Navigating beyond Earth's orbit is tricky. Any misstep in movement could lead to the crushes of space probes and ves ...
NOV 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Want to Keep Calm? Tap Water Might Help
NOV 24, 2020
Want to Keep Calm? Tap Water Might Help
The ongoing worldwide pandemic places the mental health of many communities on red alert. But there may be a remedy to e ...
Loading Comments...