Around the 1950s Carlos García Castilla “Válvula”, discovered discovered the todays “Sleeping Shark Cave” a series of caves east of the Isla Mujeres that had a hidden secret, in this place sharks were resting in the sand like if they were sleeping. “Valvula” was a local fisherman in the island that frequently went out fishing for lobsters.
With the time he noticed something peculiar, that often sharks when they entered the caves they didn’t came out again and he started to observe closely.
Ramon Bravo and The Sleeping Shark Cave
Ramon Bravo was a mexican diver, ecologist and cinematographer that was an important figure in the preservation and study of the sharks worldwide.
Ramon Bravo developed a fascination filming sharks and as devoted oceanographer he spent large portion of his life filming their behavior
Valvula meet with dive adventurer Ramon Bravo and told him the story of the Sleeping Sharks, at the beginning he was skeptical but seeing that this fisherman speak from true harth, he grabbed his dive equipment and camera and went to try to catch this rare phenomenon for himself.
At the beginning he was frustrated from the rough weather and poor visibility and after many attempts they didn’t have much luck finding anything in the cave, starting to seriously doubt “Valvulas” words, however suddenly one day again with bad conditions they saw an enormous bull shark totally asleep in the cave
Ramon couldnt belive what he was seeing and started to take a lot of pictures, as the days passed their luck continued seeing many sharks going inside the cave for a nap
Ramon Bravo started to write about this phenomenon and the notice arrived to international scientists like Dr. Shelton Applegate and Dr. Eugina Clark witch were considered the higest authorities in sharks and paleontology, then they traveled to Isla Mujeres to confirm this Phenomenon with Ramon Bravo and Valvula
In 1970 Ramon Bravo served as a guide for Jacques Cousteau in his expedition in the Yucatan Peninsula aboard his famous research boat Calypso, Cousteau began diving with Ramon an Valvula right away to investigate the Sleeping Shark Cave.
it was widely believed that sharks needed to be constantly swimming in order to breathe and that it was possible in this cave beacuse sharks could use the little bubles emerge from underwater springs to breathe, allowing them to be completly still.
However it was never found if this was the case, in fact some visitor say that even the sharks were not moving they were following the visitors with their eyes until they moved
Sleeping Shark Cave Today
Today is a rare occasion to see the sharks, even that the cave has baffled marine biologist around the world for a long time, the dive site is a remainder of our curiosity about the ocean
The Cave of the Sleeping Sharks lies about 60 feet (20 meters) underwater. Nurse sharks are the most commonly seen in the cave and although they are harmless it is still exhilarating to be able to swim so close to them.
Is a popular site for diving enthusiasts, however this dive site is recommended for more experienced scuba divers.
Check the characteristics of this Reef Cave Adventure Dive below
60 ft / 18 m
Cert Min Level
Advanced Open Water Diver
Lion Fish, Angel Fish, Barracuda, Snapper
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