Explorers Make Exciting Discoveries in Lechuguilla Cave
The eight-day expedition in early May resulted in the discovery of a new section of cave passages with large rooms, deep pits, and many new leads and saw the greatest amount of distance added to the survey in one day since 1989.
The new area, dubbed Oz, was discovered after cavers successfully climbed a dome, known as the Kansas Twister, which measured in at 164 meters (535 feet), or the taller than a 50 story building. This makes the Kansas Twister the deepest pit (natural, direct, vertical expanse) known in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
Oz features passages, pits, and large rooms, one room, called Munchkin Land, is about 182 meters (600 feet) long and averages 38 meters (124 feet) wide by 32 meters (104 feet) high.
Since exploration began in 1986, over 215 kilometers (134.6 miles) of cave passages have been surveyed, making Lechuguilla one of the longest caves in the world.