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They discovered a connection between Australia's deepest caves!

A group of divers exploring caves in Australia have found a connection between the deepest cave and the third deepest cave. This is an undoubted success for the speleologists, which can be considered the coronation of activities that began back in the early 20th century. Finding the connection between Niggly Cave and Growling Swallet is
Published: May 27, 2019 - 17:43
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 18:15
They discovered a connection between Australia’s deepest caves!

A group of divers exploring caves in Australia have found a connection between the deepest cave and the third deepest cave. This is an undoubted success for the speleologists, which can be considered the coronation of activities that began back in the early 20th century.

Finding the connection between Niggly Cave and Growling Swallet is the culmination of a long and arduous process that has involved several generations of cave divers. Those who have managed to do so are members of a team of cave divers from Tasmania.

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The explorers first reached a depth of about 350 metres in the dry part of Niggly Cave and then traversed an underwater passage of more than 200 metres below Mount Field National Park, northwest of Hobart, to prove the connection.

[blockquote style=”2″]”We had to descend about 250 metres down, using various ropes and a complicated rigging system, and then go under the waterfall. Finally, at a depth of about 350 metres there is a trough where there is a passage under the water. To find the connection, I had to dive about 250 metres along, with a maximum depth of 12 metres,” – Cave diver Stephen Fordyce said. [/blockquote]

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Having travelled all this way, the diver discovered a handrail left by himself 4 years earlier, during a dive conducted from the Growling Swallet side of the cave. That was it! Definitive proof and certainty that the two caves, located in the Junee-Florentine system, are connected. By Fordyce’s own admission, he had been preparing for this dive for the last decade and would not have been able to make it if he had not been supported on site by a skilled team of 10 people.

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[blockquote style=”2″]”The team could only take equipment for one diver. On top of that, exploring the site involved squeezing alone in a very tight, low and extremely quiet place where visibility is extremely limited. The whole thing was challenging not only physically, but also mentally. You had to be able to cope and complete the task, assessing the risks and staying safe.” [/blockquote]

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The result of the expedition is of indisputable scientific value. According to one of the participants, speleologist Dr. Stefan Eberhard, establishing a physical connection between the caves and the cave system is a huge success and what will remain once the joy and excitement of exploration subsides. With the knowledge gained, researchers will be able to look at the entire cave system differently, understand its unique features and better protect it.

[blockquote style=”2″]”These caves contain features of great cultural, scientific and conservation value, including archaeological artefacts, unique fauna species adapted to life in this cave, bones of extinct megafauna and ancient sediments deposited during glacial periods,” – said Eberhard [/blockquote].

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Another important step on the road to better understanding the Junee-Florentine cave system has been made, but the journey is far from over. So we can expect to hear about the discoveries of Australian explorers and cave divers more than once.

Source: abc.net.au
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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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