Archeology

Ice Age-Era Cave System Found Under Major City

In the heart of Montréal, Canada, surrounded by busy city streets lies Pie-XII Park, however what was found beneath those streets has experts buzzing.

Underneath these streets lies a network of caves, dating back to the Earth’s last Ice Age, nearly 700 feet long. Discovered in October by two speleologists, Daniel Caron and Luc Le Blanc, it was only recently that this discovery was announces, shortly after the caves were secured.

While exploring the well-known St. Léonard cave that lies just underneath Pie-XII Park the two cave experts found out that there was something else hidden beneath.

Cave explorer Daniel Caron looks at the walls of a cave located under a city park in Montreal, Saturday, December 2, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

Back in 2014 Caron and Le Blanc had a hunch and decided to explore the caverns of St. Léonard, hoping to find new secret passages. Armed with the proper equipment, both cave experts went hunting for voids or signs of water lying on the other side of the cave’s walls. Just a year after they started the research, they had found a small opening in the back of one of the caves.

They were able to see through the opening with the help of a small camera. What they saw was breathtaking, just behind the wall there was a large room, never seen before.

Unfortunately for nearly two years it was impossible to move past the wall because they are made out of solid limestone, and opening a passage required industrial-strength drills.

However, once they managed to do that, they finally entered the large room discovered back in 2015 and then the entrance led them to a tall narrow hall.

According to Le Blanc the walls of the cave were perfectly smooth and the ceiling, which is estimated to be roughly 20 feet high, was perfectly horizontal. They also found stalagmites and stalactites throughout the passage, and just a centimeter of stalagmite takes up to thousand years to grow.

Over 10.000 years ago, during the Ice Age, much of today’s North America was covered by ice and back then in the tens of thousands of years while the ice was retreating, rapidly receding glaciers created fissures in the terrains, thus creating the found caverns.

The speleologists have estimated that the passageway extends roughly around 700 feet. Water spilling into the cave have stopped their exploration, but they plan on returning in February next year, after the water recedes.

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