Speleologists Make Breakthrough Discovery in Postojna Cave
Postojna, 30 June - Speleologists recently come to a big breakthrough at the Postojnska jama cave, discovering an underwater shaft of some 3.5 kilometres. The exciting news especially brought joy to the experts looking for a connection with the neighbouring Planinska jama cave system.
The field research went down in extreme conditions. "It is the first major breakthrough over the past 20 years," Marjan Batagelj of the Postojnska jama operator told the STA and added that the cave now features 24,120 metres of shafts.
The discovery moved failing attempts to find a joint shaft between the Postojnska jama and Planinska jama caves from a dead point. "The development brings much optimism to speleologists, who wish to swim across both cave systems one day," Batagelj added.
The cave divers have been greeted by an extraordinary lively ecosystem during their trips 250 metres underground, head of the speleologist team Igor Vrhovec said, adding that they encountered a great variety of fish and a big shoal of the endemic olm.
The last discovery brought speleologists as close as 400 metres from the Planinska jama cave system, which provides motivation to find the connecting shaft before the end of the year, Vrhovec said.
When the two systems become officially connected, Slovenia's largest cave system will include at least 31 kilometres of shafts.
"Mysteries are meant to be revealed," Batagelj added on the topic and said that the newly discovered shafts will not be open to public due to safety reasons.
The Postojnska jama cave is one of the greatest Slovenian landmarks, visited by almost a million tourists each year, who can take guided tours of some 5 kilometres of publicly accessible shafts.