A team of world-class cave divers assembled by Lucero and geologist Patricia Beddows of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., intend to descend into the depths of three of Cara Blanca’s 23 pools next year. Hazards the divers will face include trees, caves and crocodiles, not to mention 160-foot depths.
“Cenotes bell outward underground, like caves. You can’t treat them like there is clear water over your head. The waters are sulfur-rich. Hydrogen sulfide can make divers sick if they push it, which has happened,” Beddows says. “And there is the depth problem.” Dives in very deep waters put divers at risk of serious health problems, especially if they surface too quickly.