4 minute lesson
What makes these huge holes in the ground so important for life in the jungle?
Huge limestone sinkholes called cenotes (say-NO-tay) dot the Yucatan peninsula. Not only are they home to their own unique organisms but they act as reservoirs, collecting rainwater that would otherwise be absorbed by the porous ground. Thus, they provide vitally important water to the rich jungle ecosystem. In this video from the BBC, Professor Brian Cox takes us deep into the heart of a cenote, showing how a big hole in the jungle floor can be so much more than a reason to watch your step.
Cenotes demonstrate an important truth: good things come from unexpected places. Though they may not seem like central parts of an ecosystem, these sinkholes support a wide range of life. In addition, they show us that the wonders of the natural world are not limited to the surface of the earth.
If we can find an abundant, thriving, and beautiful environment in a limestone cave under the jungle floor, who knows what else is out there to be discovered and explored!
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“Amazing Underwater Caves – Wonders of Life W/ Prof Brian Cox – BBC.”YouTube. BBC Earth, 15 July 2015. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnIGJpKkFyE>.