Cenote Angelita, the underwater river

By Guido Trombetta on 11:02 AM , ,

©Anatoly Beloshchin www.tecdive.ru

If looking at these pictures you've noted something odd it's normal.. You are looking at pictures that are clearly taken underwater but nevertheless it seems that a river is flowing some meters under the the divers. This is one of the most amazing places I've seen in my life, it's in Mexico and it's name is Cenote Angelita. The author of this pictures is Anatoly Beloshchin, an excellent underwater photographer whose pictures can be seen in his website tecdive.ru.

©Anatoly Beloshchin www.tecdive.ru

A cenote is a sinkhole with exposed rocky edges containing groundwater. It is typically found in the Yucatán Peninsula and some nearby Caribbean islands. The term is derived from a word used by the low-land Yucatec Maya to refer to any location where groundwater is accessible.

©Anatoly Beloshchin www.tecdive.ru

Looking at these pictures you clearly have the impression that the divers are flying over an autumnal landscape. These are the words of the photographer:
“We are 30 meters deep, fresh water, then 60 meters deep – salty water and under me I see a river, island and fallen leaves… Actually, the river, which you can see, is a layer of hydrogen sulphide.”

©Anatoly Beloshchin www.tecdive.ru

The river illusion is due to a phenomenon called halocline, a cline caused by a strong, vertical salinity gradient within a body of water. Because salinity (in concert with temperature) affects the density of seawater, it can play a role in its vertical stratification. Increasing salinity by one kg/m3 results in an increase of seawater density of around 0.7 kg/m
The Yucatan Peninsula contains a vast coastal aquifer system which is typically density-stratified. The infiltrating meteoric water (i.e., rainwater) floats on top of higher density saline water intruding from the coastal margins. The whole aquifer is therefore an anchialine system (i.e., one that is land-locked, but connected to an ocean). Where a cenote, or the flooded cave it is an opening to, provides deep enough access into the aquifer then the interface between the fresh and saline water may be reached. The density interface between the fresh and saline waters is a halocline, which means a sharp change in salt concentration over a small change in depth. Mixing of the fresh and saline water results in a blurry swirling effect due to refraction between the different density fresh and saline waters. The depth of the halocline is a function of several factors: climate and specifically how much meteoric water recharges the aquifer, hydraulic conductivity of the host rock, distribution and connectivity of existing cave systems and how effective these are at draining water to the coast, and the distance from the coast. In general, the halocline is deeper the further from the coast and in the Yucatan Peninsula this depth is 10 to 20 meters below the water table at the coast, and 50 to 100 meters below the water table in the middle of the peninsula, with saline water underlying the whole of the peninsula.
In Cenote Angelita as you get deeper the water turns from pure to salty; 30 meters deep the water is pure, 60 meters deep it becomes saline. Some meters before you get to the bottom of the cave, you see a river underneath, with trees and leaves floating on some liquid level. However it may seem like a river, it’s not a real river. It’s just a layer of hydrogen sulphide.

A video of this amazing place:


19 Response to 'Cenote Angelita, the underwater river'

  1. ceri masam manis
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1267075013969#c5924388632416913291'> February 25, 2010 at 6:16 AM


    the pictures are amazing.


  2. Anonymous
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1267234008532#c5472196012395339636'> February 27, 2010 at 2:26 AM

    What a great resource!


  3. Chandra
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1268139017870#c653071704301636773'> March 9, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Really nice view.. i couldn't imagine if there is such view in underwater.. Nice post man..Chandra Wijaya


  4. John
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1272505819940#c8888173380983911565'> April 29, 2010 at 3:50 AM

    how is there a river underwater???


  5. guillesabIII
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1332081271167#c1417671082325176368'> March 18, 2012 at 3:34 PM

    speechless, actually...
    it's kinda creepy below...


  6. Christy John
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1365745993296#c2757169243618243393'> April 12, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  7. Anonymous
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1365793519685#c4453633411705826970'> April 12, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information.

    I know my subscribers would enjoy your work. If you're even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

    Also visit my web-site :: diets that work


  8. Anonymous
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1378063280984#c5425441129333385492'> September 1, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    ..13 miles outside Roswell NM is 'Bottomless Lakes'..it is a great place for novice divers.
    The lake is fed by underwater caverns, people believe that the same system that made Carlsbad caverns are connected..80 miles away. Where the new water flows into the lake is a place called the 'Catheral' a large room of very clear water, compared to its murky surrounings..


  9. High Class Escorts in London UK
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1378732175343#c4740248077150313450'> September 9, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    Welcome to London’s Leading Ladies Escort Agency, here at this agency we recruit only the creme de la creme hence the name… We only welcome ladies that are discreet, stunning, extremely friendly and of course that enjoy entertaining gentlemen.
    High Class Escorts in London UK | Escorts in London UK | Hookers London UK | Prostitutes in London UK | Dubai New York Escorts London UK |


  10. M@)(im
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1390584909285#c7692484894496143076'> January 24, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  11. M@)(im
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1390584962473#c5456442240213386921'> January 24, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    Great post!
    This is my video-


  12. Anonymous
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1401222013784#c4792876777754548652'> May 27, 2014 at 10:20 PM

    If this place is underwater, why aint the leaves floating??? Wikipedia has no information about this place. The only undersea river ever discovered by scientists as per discovery channel is the black sea undersea river... seems like yet another amazing job of photoshop.


  13. Matt Kohn
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1404762996201#c3750335586426080386'> July 7, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Amazing dive location! I dove here last week - check out my video I put together!


    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1413127847680#c890406901547202961'> October 12, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    Nice post.............


  15. Cindy Dy
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1437968495883#c3098342315687139551'> July 27, 2015 at 5:41 AM

    Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check it out.I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!Terrific blog and fantastic design and style.



  16. Silvia Jacinto
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1438217296133#c1066650554281512675'> July 30, 2015 at 2:48 AM

    We all need challenges in our life to keep motivated. I really had a great time scanning and reading your blog site and i was so amazed with your great artwork. I do hope you could inspire more readers. You can also visit my site for some interesting stuff.




  17. cleopatra escorts
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1470235622237#c1875673873008865446'> August 3, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    great post


  18. Ruby Roberts
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1474982529877#c1609704547028523194'> September 27, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    That photo is amazing! reminds me of some I took in Manchester


  19. Romanian Escorts
    http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2010/02/cenote-angelita-underwater-river.html?showComment=1476851190005#c4309232652353470366'> October 19, 2016 at 6:26 AM

    I truly love the stuff I have read on your site and plan to keep reading when I get more time.