A newly discovered wondrous pool, which lies 700 ft. below Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, has never before been seen by human eyes.
The cave pool, which appears to be completely “virgin,” was found in Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico, one the world’s largest and most famous caves.
That said, the cave had not before been touched by humans at all, as scientists found this natural wonder at a depth of 213 meters below the entrance to the cave, which also happens to be one of the tallest (or deepest) in the world.
Lechuguilla Cave and its unique microorganisms have attracted interest from microbiologists because, despite several million years of isolation from the terrestrial environment, they display widespread resistance to modern clinical antibiotic drugs.
In a Facebook post on their official page, Carlsbad Caverns called the site “completely pristine” and noted that they believe the bacteria living in the water had “evolved entirely without human presence.”
The amazing ‘virgin’ pool recently discovered in the Lechuguilla Cave of New Mexico is perfectly pristine. MAX WISSHAK PHOTO/CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK
The immaculate pool discovered in the cave network appears almost unearthly and is surrounded by white frosted rock. While the water may look murky with a creamy tint to it, the coloring is actually the product of an optical illusion.
This cave is located in New Mexico and is 203 km long.
Geoscientist and expedition leader Max Wisshak explained that the water in the pool is actually “crystal clear” and is believed to have come from ancient rainwater that seeped through the limestone lying overhead and dropped or slid along the cave walls into the pool.
Entrance to Lechuguilla Cave
“This pool has been isolated for hundreds of thousands of years and had never seen light before that day,” said Carlsbad Caverns natural and cultural resources chief Rodney Horrocks.
A July 2019 map of Lechuguilla Cave
The uncontaminated pool is so important because almost everything is contaminated with human pollution these days. Even in the depths of Antarctica, litter and other man-made products contaminate the environment. It’s rare treat for science to be offered a completely clean sample of nature.
No one knows when the cave system actually formed. Photo: Dave Bunnell