Mapping the Labyrinth

  • In Florida’s panhandle, site of Wakulla Springs’ mysterious waters, Wild Chronicles host Boyd Matson puts his life on the line. Boyd dives into this underwater labyrinth of caves, a Swiss cheese of tunnels and flowing springs, where it’s all too easy to get lost.

    Join Boyd and the team attempting to generate the world’s first digital, three-dimensional map of an underwater cave system.

    1. Cave diving is sometimes called the "world's most dangerous sport." How many divers have died in Florida's underwater labyrinth?

      More than 300 people have died while cave-diving in Florida.

    2. How much does Boyd's gear weigh?

      Boyd drags 125 pounds of gear to Ginnie Springs, a less dangerous spot for cave-diving than Wakulla Springs.

    3. How do Mark and Jill, the cave divers, collect data for the 3D map?

      Mark and Jill descend with a large piece of equipment that pings the walls of the spring with sonar. This sonar data helps create an accurate, three-dimensional map of Wakulla Springs.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    cave Noun

    underground chamber that opens to the surface. Cave entrances can be on land or in water.

    digital Adjective

    having to do with numbers (or digits), often in a format used by computers.

    generate Verb

    to create or begin.

    map Noun

    symbolic representation of selected characteristics of a place, usually drawn on a flat surface.

    Encyclopedic Entry: map
    spring Noun

    small flow of water flowing naturally from an underground water source.

    three-dimensional Adjective

    having the appearance of width, height, and depth.