A milky blue cave pool that remained untouched and isolated from the rest of the world for hundreds of thousands of years has recently been discovered by explorers inside the depths of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, USA.
The cave pool was discovered by a group of explorers that set out to explore the depths of the cave network located some 700 ft beneath the National Park. The oddly-colored body of water was never before seen by human eyes. It contains a milky, aquamarine liquid that is surrounded by white rock formations, resembling a scene straight out of a sci-fi movie showing a distant alien world.
The cave system is believed to be several hundred thousand years old, and during its long evolution, it is believed to have never before been seen by human eyes, thanks to being well isolated and protected.
The eerie milky pool of water was found by explorers around 700 ft beneath the entrance of the Lechuguilla Cave, which is one of the ten longest caves in the world. The cave itself was explored, and explorers entered some of its previously unexplored areas in October 2019. The cave’s odd pool was discovered nearly three decades ago when in 1993, scientists found its entrance.
Geoscientist Max Wisshak took to Facebook to explain more about the pristine lake pool.
He wrote, “This cave pool, found in Lechuguilla Cave, appears to be completely pristine. The edges beneath this pool appear to be ‘pool fingers,’ which could be bacterial colonies that have evolved entirely without human presence.”
“It is water in a pool lined with calcite. It might look soft, but calcite is hard,” reads a statement on Facebook.
Wisshak was one of the scientists who participated in mapping nearly two kilometers (around 1. miles) of passages and various rope drops.
Although experts have explored the cave, it remains a mystery when the cave network formed exactly. So far, no visible traces of life were found, but explorers did encounter bat skeletons which are believed to date back several thousand years. This may hint at the possibility that there are still unexplored entrances to the cave, that are small and may have been missed in previous explorations.
The images of the cave pool reveal a stunning, never-before-seen pool of water which is around one foot wide, two feet long, and more than a few inches deep. Although certainly small, it’s a unique color, and surrounding geological formation makes it one of the most special bodies of water discovered inside caves.
But its artistic appearance is not the only importance. Such bodies of water are of great importance to scientists because such isolated pools of water are largely free of contamination, and the microbiological life that may live inside such pools may be different from anything we’ve encountered so far and existed within the particular ecosystem since time immemorial.
Although contaminants can make their way from outside the cave into the body of water, this is not the case with the Lechuiguilla cave since it is located in a well-protected wilderness area. Contaminants can also enter cave systems via aerosols, transported through the air. But researchers say that the pool of water discovered inside the cave system is as pristine as it gets.
A Facebook post by the Carlsbad Caverns National Park explains that while exploring the pool of water which was first encountered in 1993, “the team took special precautions to ensure there were no contaminants introduced to these pools of water.”
The expedition that explored the pool system says they’ve encountered various similar pools, the largest of which has been dubbed the Lake of Liquid Sky.