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Caves of the sleeping sharks

A location that is required to be logged at least once in the logbook of any diving enthusiast, the caves where the sharks sleep are situated near Isla de Mujeres, a few kilometers away from the shore of Cancun in Mexico.

The site became famous thanks to Cousteau, even though it was discovered in the sixties by a local fisherman. It is accessible by boat and open to experienced divers, the currents being quite strong, even if the usual depth is 20-30 meters.

The main attraction is given by the possibility of observing at close range the sharks resting in the caverns formed within the reef, with a height of 1 to 3 meters. This is an unusual phenomenon, as it is widely known that sharks need to be in constant movement to be able to breathe. A possible explanation could be that the Oxygen accumulating in the spaces beneath the reef helps the sharks breathe even when standing still, furthermore it is speculated that this could have a narcotic effect on them.  

Usually you can observe here nurse sharks, but the lucky ones can catch a glimpse of bull sharks, lemon sharks or black tip. Barracudas are also present in large numbers, as well as many other schools of fish.

Interesting to know that the local activities (especially fishing), as well as the past years’ hurricanes, have affected the number of sharks visiting the site, the reef suffering likewise.

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