The ‘Lost Sea’ Beneath Tennessee Is Too Big to be Fully Explored

The ‘Lost Sea’ of America is the country’s largest non-subglacial underground lake and possibly the world’s second-largest one. Located in Craighead Cavern, deep beneath Tennessee, this colossal underground water body is too large to be fully measured!

The Cavern

The ‘Lost Sea’ is located in Tennessee amidst the Great Smoky Mountains between Madisonville and Sweetwater. Along with the lake, the Craighead Cavern is also home to some impressive geology. It’s known for its spectacular array of stalagmites, stalactites, and crystals decorating the limestone walls. For its beauty and long history, the National Park Service considers this cave system a ‘National Natural Landmark.’ Evidence shows that long before humans were on earth, giant and fearsome Pleistocene jaguars used to stalk the cave. Centuries later, the Cherokee tribe used it as a shelter, as proved by the various Native American artifacts discovered at the place, which include arrowheads, jewelry, and pottery. Throughout the centuries, the cave was used as a storage, a hideout, and was mined too for saltpeter.

The Lake

However, the underground lake was discovered quite surprisingly in 1905, when a kid accidentally stumbled across the water while playing in the cave in Tennessee. 13-year-old Ben Sands crawled 40 feet through a tunnel in the cave. Suddenly he dropped down into the lake and waded out into knee-deep water. The lake was visibly way smaller when discovered, but the scientists and geologists have been carrying on the discovery and blasted it out. As for now, nobody is quite sure about the sheer size of the lake. The visible portion is 800 feet in length and 220 feet in width. But there are other large water-filled halls beneath the surface, most of which are yet to be explored! Almost 13 acres of water have been mapped so far. Divers and explorers are still searching to find the end of the water body.