Updated: Sep 8
OK, this is a story you may not believe... tentacle and all.
It happened in a private cenote called Maravilla, just down the road from Puerto Morelos. My friends Noe and Joanna had just returned from a dive trip to Mahajual on the southern edge of Mexico's Caribbean coast and they brought two divers back to Puerto Morelos with them--two girls, one a Chilean dive master and the other a Canadian dive instructor. Both had extensive scuba experience.
The girls were interested in diving Maravilla, especially because it is relatively unknown (Noe has been mapping it). So, Jo and Noe took them out there. It's about 20 minutes into the jungle and on private property. Noe had the key to the gate and the four of them suited up and descended into the hole of unknown depth in the jungle.
Once below the surface, the divers could see that cave opened up into a giant bell shaped dome. About 100 feet down was a sulfur layer that looked like dry ice or a thick layer of white fog from a graveyard scene in a scary movie. Jo told me you can play with the sulfur and it looks blue in the light of their powerful flashlights. She also told me that, although she has been to 120 feet, they have no idea how deep the cenote is and it would take some serious tech diving to find to bottom! What looks like the bottom in this photo is actually the sulfur layer at about 100 feet deep. You can descend through this layer and keep going down. But who knows what might be down there.....
There are stories of things that live in the cenotes. Crocodiles and blind fish live there, for sure. But I have heard rumors of manifestations of the Mayan rain god Chac Mool. He comes as a snake-like dragon--black and as wide as a queen sized bed. Some have heard him stirring the waters late at night and have run to the pool edge only to look down and see the glinting depths as still as if there had never been such a thing as wind to ruffle their surface.
Noe and Jo have been exploring Maravilla for a couple of months now. They found the entrance to the underground river that winds hundreds of miles through limestone stalactites and stalagmites under the Yucatan Peninsula. They also found huge bell-like formations at a depth of 110 feet. They are made from tiny, microscopic animals. But what really interests me is what the Chilean diver saw as the made their final assent on the dive shown in the photos here.
As they were nearing the surface, she looked down and saw a huge black tentacle come out of the sulfur layer and stretch most of the way across the width of the cenote. It waved around a bit, suction cups visible in the crystal clear water, and then disappeared back into the foggy white layer that created the illusion of a bottom to the sacred cave.
They christened it "The Kracken."
We may never know what the dive master saw. But, you should know that she has been scuba diving in many remote places and has extensive experience behind her. Joanna is trying to talk me into diving Maravilla with her. I am enchanted by the surreal feeling of cavern diving, but I am not so sure I would be able to get into that small jungle hole. Especially now that I know something that came straight out of a Mayan folktale is down there.
For more stories like this, especially the one about the old Mayan man in the village of Xcalacoop--the one where he sees the cenote dragon...well, I don't want to give too much away...click on the links to the articles below.
Trying to decide if i should go diving,