‘World’s longest cave’ discovered 墨西哥潛水團隊發現“世界最長”水下洞穴

A dark discovery

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墨西哥的潛水員們在當地發現了“世界上最長的”水下洞穴,這個洞穴長約216英里(347公里)。名為“大瑪雅地下水層項目(The Gran Acuifero Maya project)”的工作人員稱,這一發現將幫助我們更加深入地了解有關瑪雅文明的歷史。

The group of divers spent months exploring a maze of underwater channels near the Mexican beach resort of Tulum. Parts of the region were inhabited by the ancient Mayan civilisation before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century.

這組潛水員用了數月時間在墨西哥海灘度假勝地圖盧姆(Tulum)附近對水下錯綜複雜的峽谷開展了研究活動。該地的部分區域在17世紀被西班牙占領前曾是瑪雅文明的所在地。

With more than 200 caves, they thought there was chance that something record-breaking would be found below the surface – they just had no proof – until now. For the team has discovered that one large cavern, Sac Actun, is actually connected to another, Dos Ojos, creating a 350km-long cave. Now for size, that’s the equivalent of 7,000 Olympic swimming pools in length and in places up to 100m deep.

該團隊已挖掘出的洞穴有200多個,因此他們認為很可能會在水下發現長度破紀錄的一個,只是直到現在為止,他們沒有找到証據。已發現的被稱作“白色洞穴(Sac Actun)”的巨大山洞其實與“雙眼洞穴(Dos Ojos)”相連,共同構成了350公里長的山洞。它的大小相當于7000個奧林匹克規模的游泳池的總長,而且洞中一些地方的深度達100米。

And it’s not just the size that matters. The area also hosts a wealth of historical treasures. Guillermo de Anda is director of the Gran Acuifero Maya project. He said the discovery would help them better understand the rich culture in the region.

這個洞穴的重要之處並不只是其長度。這個地區還匯聚了豐富的歷史珍寶。吉利爾莫·德·安達(Guillermo de Anda)是大瑪雅地下水層項目的負責人。他說,該發現會幫助研究團隊更深入地了解當地豐富多彩的文化。

But while its size makes this the longest underwater cave, it can’t take the title of longest cave. That belongs to the mammoth cave complex in the American hillsides of Kentucky – thought to be near double the length. They’ll need to keep diving to beat that one.

雖然它是世界上最長的水下洞穴,但它無法奪得“世界最長洞穴”的頭銜。因為這個稱號屬于位于美國肯塔基州猛馬洞穴群,它的長度幾乎是最新發現的水下洞穴的兩倍。要想打破這項記錄,研究團隊恐怕得在水下繼續尋找才行。

1. 詞匯表

maze 迷宮般的地方
inhabited 居住著
civilisation 文明、文化
conquest 占領
record-breaking 破紀錄的
cavern 大洞穴,大山洞
hosts 聚集、匯聚
take the title 奪得(第一的)頭銜
mammoth 猛馬

2. 閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題。(答案見下頁)

1. Why did a group of divers have to explore these caves?

2. What is this cave longer than previously thought?

3. True or false? You could fit the length of 7,000 Olympic swimming pools inside this cave.

4. Before the discovery of this new cave, was there any real evidence that it existed?

3.
答案

1. Why did a group of divers have to explore these caves?
Divers had the explore the caves because they were underwater.

2. Why is this cave longer than previously thought?
Two large caverns are connected, creating a 350km long cave.

3. True or false? You could fit the length of 7,000 Olympic swimming pools inside this cave.
True. The new cave is the equivalent of 7,000 Olympic swimming pools in length and in places up to 100m deep.

4. Before the discovery of this new cave, was there any real evidence that it existed?
No. It was thought that something record-breaking would be found below the surface –  but there was no proof.

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