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Otoch Ha

Otoch Ha or also called cenote Nariz (Nose) is part of the giant cave system called Sac Aktun. This part of the cave was connected together in 2007 with the Hoyo Negro area by Alex Alvarez, Franco Attolini and Alberto Nava. It is also one of the furthest northwest areas of the entire system and the cave is characterized by big defined and solid, highly decorated tunnels. Some areas of the cave are less solid, have more sediment, collapses in places and tannic shallow domes. What makes the cave special are the remaining signs of animal paw prints and bones.

This "exploration" was very small in size and never really was a focus of us, it actually just happened by accident. In March 2020 one day at work Laszlo was guiding GUE cave divers upstream of Nariz on a regular fundive. While looking around a bit, hidden behind some bigger cave formations, a ledge seemed not fully closed until the floor. As he swam closer no obvious tunnel was visible, but the cave seemed to drop slightly deeper and an irregular path revealed itself a bit. Of course the time wasn't right but for later this looked like a good opportunity since the cave could have been fully open to the northeast.

 

A few weeks later Laszlo returned with his friend Cameron Miller to check out the lead. The first and right side of the tunnel ended pretty quickly in a clay hill and a restriction behind it, but the tunnel had some charcoal which stays for a long time preserved in the cave and can be the sign of human activity. Coming back towards the beginning another, left turn was visible and the team tried to go out one more time. The tunnel seemed to become more defined and longer than the previous, kept a steady depth of 15-16 meters and was more slity and less decorated. Because of turn pressure, the divers decided to tie-off the line here for later.

 

Some days later Emőke and Laszlo returned to the location and moved around a smaller corner and the previously ended tunnel went further for another 200 meters. After that the tunnel ended but had signs of multiple smaller excavated limestone pits with more charcoal which could have been another sign of prehistoric humans in the area.

 

The exploration only turned up 400 meters of new tunnels, but the interesting possibility of having seen human traces in a previously dry cave made this little effort worth mentioning.

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