One of the most magical photos I have seen this year

Illustration for article titled One of the most magical photos I have seen this year

Today's National Geographic Your Shot editor's pick is this stunning image of what seems to be a man/alien hovering over the ground in a forest. In reality, it is a surreal photo of a diver in a cenote, in the Yucatán, Mexico. The lighting is so perfect and the water so clear that you can't really tell what's going on.


Photographer and scuba diver Terry Steeley explains:

Timed right, diving a cenote can be a truly magical experience, hugely rewarding and unlike most other scuba adventures. I had dived many times at the Taj Mahal cenote, but today was different: Navigating my way through the tunnels to Bill's Hole provided a real treat. The intimately lit cavern layered against energetically dancing light beams was breathtaking. Indeed, a very special dive.


Cenotes are natural sinkholes full of sweet water, caused by the collapse of limestone bedrock. There are many all around the Yucatán, often connected with each other with tunnels. I've dived there too and, indeed, it is a truly amazing experience.

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So, in addition to eliminating nearly all land-based life weighing more than several dozen pounds - enabling the rise of mammals and the eventual posting of this very internet comment - you can also thank the Chicxulub impactor for creating some absolutely stunning swimming holes!

Thanks, giant impactor!