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Our drive to understand the evolutionary history of life on Earth leads us to search for clues deep underground. Cave divers are at the forefront of this research, helping us access some of the deepest and darkest subterranean and water-filled parts of our planet.
Take a deep breath and dive below the surface with cave-diving experts and scientists in the video above. Find out what it takes to plunge into the dark and mysterious world of underwater caves.
Caves are home to numerous animals that prefer to spend their lives hidden in the shadows. Even caves that are entirely filled by water can sustain life.
Although these environments present challenges for the creatures that live in them, many species have adapted to survive. Some have developed alternate senses to help them secure food, find mates and avoid predators.
Understanding more about aquatic cave animals allows scientists to gain a better understanding of the evolutionary history of life on Earth. But these deep, dark habitats are often challenging for humans to access.
Underwater caves can be dangerous for even the most experienced divers. There is usually no natural light, spaces can be tightly enclosed and twisting tunnels are complex to navigate.
But the expertise of cave divers make it possible for us to find out what is living in some of the deepest and darkest realms of Earth's caves. In fact, more people have stood on the Moon than been to subterranean places that some cave explorers have visited.
Watch the video above to find out more about cave divers and the dark and mysterious wilderness they explore.