Unexplored underwater cave system reveals beauty hidden below the surface
These incredible images show the beauty of previously unexplored underwater caves.
Sunk deep into the earth in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula, the caves sat unmapped and almost untouched by the modern world.
But diving 1km deep into the caves, filmmaker and photographer Klaus Thymann has documented his exploration of the ancient caves.
He hopes that he can raise awareness of the environmental issue that are associated with the linked bodies of water.
His film, ‘Flows’, shows the brilliant and changing Mexican landscape from above, while simultaneously delving into the hidden cave system beneath it.
The caves haven’t been visited by any humans in modern-history and Klaus discovered an untouched 500-year old Mayan pot.
Shot over the course of five months, the filmmaker looks at the submerged caves where salt and fresh water meet.
While the place doesn’t exist on any maps, that could be set to change soon.
Cave diver and cartographer Alex Reato is mapping the caves – the two men hope this will allow them some protection from the Mexican Government.
Flows challenge the concept of the ecosystem, considering water as one entity and underlining the importance of saving, and protecting, all bodies of water.
Danish-born Klaus is currently based between London and Stockholm.
The 43-year-old Filmmaker and photographer said: “I’ve been documenting from reporting from the Yucatan Peninsula for the past 4 year and from that time started to explore places where no person had ever been in modern history.
“In the caves is a pristine environment – it’s absolutely amazing.
“When you look at things from above you don’t often realise how much things are interlinked and with my film I hope to show that.
“There’s a fair amount of marine protection areas, they are mostly on the coastline, but you can find saltwater 110 km inland.
“The water doesn’t stop by the coastline; it continues to these caves and then on top of it sits the freshwater.
“So whatever happens to the water in one place happens to the water elsewhere.
“It affects the Mesoamerican reef, and the sea, so marine protected area are not necessarily enough on its own unless you protect the water that flows into it.
“There’s a lot of talk about plastics in the ocean in the sea but I think about we need to look at the sources and deal with that.
“You have this really wild jungle that you could easily get lost in, but no more than maybe 5km away from a highway.
“One of the fascinating things about it is that it’s one of the most accessible places to go to that’s not explored yet.
“Cave diving by definition has many inherent risks – I think there’s a mentality in the divers where they follow process unconditionally and never cut corners.
“We have multiple backup systems and safety systems – the accidents that do happen often happen to people who aren’t trained.
“To find the undisturbed Mayan pot was humbling, we didn’t even touch it – we were afraid we might break it.
“We can only theorise, but I would imagine that maybe someone just dropped it and it floated down there years ago.
“I hope to try and inspire people to care and to make a difference – it’s not too late, there’s still a chance that we can protect this.
“We need to look at economic systems and the environment and at both factors together – it doesn’t need to be one against the other, they can go hand in hand.
You can view Klaus’s film ‘Flows’ for free at https://vimeo.com/227388223 .