Can't get enough tales of explorers fearlessly probing what lies beneath the Earth's crust? Then gather round, this tale's a doozy!
A team of Calgary spelunkers (a.k.a. cave explorers) have made the ultimate discovery in their field. They've found the deepest cave known in Canada. Named Bisaro Anima, the cave is 5.3 km (3.3 mi.) long and 670 m (2,198 ft.) deep. At least.
In truth, the team still don't know how deep the cave is—there's just so much to explore!
It takes time
The opening to this cave was first discovered back in 2012 by an expedition led by Henry Bruns, a Calgary spelunker. So why are we only hearing about it now? In order to explore a cave this vast, you need one thing above everything else. Patience.
The cave is found on the remote Mt. Bisaro plateau and can only be reached by helicopter. And even when a team gets there, a cave like this one is unpredictable. There's no map and no way of knowing what is coming. A team is discovering everything for the first time as they go!
That's why this past Thanksgiving, a group from the Alberta Speleological Society, (including Henry's son, Jeremy) discovered mid-dive that they didn't have enough equipment to safely continue. But finally, five years after it was first found, the persistence paid off. Even if they still haven't made it to the cave's end, they know they've truly broken new ground in Canada. (Get it?)
A week underground
It is so difficult to get in and out of Bistro Anima that the team had to camp out for a week underground. Doing this let them carefully explore the cave and search for new passageways. A big breakthrough came when team member Kathleen Graham went scuba diving in an underground lake and discovered another opening. The cave continued, giving them more to explore.
Along with the news we reported last year about a cave below a park in Montreal, it's clear that there's still a lot to discover about the Canadian underground.
Listen to Jeremy Bruns talk about their amazing expedition on CBC News below.