The discovery of a new underwater cave at Jeita Grotto is being hailed in Lebanon as a major speleological breakthrough. The entrance was first detected in early 2004, and a team of volunteer divers has since been working to clear access to the room. Joe Khoury, Joseph Sharbine and Habib Haddad have used the latest technology to investigate the cave, and create a 3D map of its waterway.
Dr. Nabil Haddad, general manager at Jeita, feels that the discovery will help Lebanon’s campaign in the New7Wonders of Nature. “It’s a wonder of nature every time you find something new,” he told the Daily Star. He believes that in the future there will be even more discoveries, and hopes that the research team will attempt to find out more about the underground network beneath the Nahr al-Kalb Valley, an important source of drinking water in Lebanon.
Haddad thinks that Jeita Grotto is well placed to become one of the New7Wonders of Nature. “We hope we have a good chance, as we are one of the 28 finalists,” he said. “But we still need a lot of support from Lebanese, both inside the country and across the diaspora, as it’s such small country.”