Explorers made the discovery of a lifetime this weekend beneath the city of Montreal.
As it turns out, a vast network of Ice Age-era caves and passages exists just 10 metres below the residential streets of Saint-Leonard in the city’s East End.
The discovery was made by friends Luc Le Blanc and Daniel Caron, two amateur cavers who broke through the walls of an existing cave and “managed to open a window through which we could see the void beyond,” as Le Blanc put it.
Beyond that void was a labyrinth of 15,000-year-old tunnels, chambers, stalactite structures, and a lake. The formation occurred when huge glaciers created enough pressure to shift the rock beneath earth’s surface.
Video: Toronto Star/Canadian Press
“This is a major discovery we made. This doesn’t happen many times in a lifetime,” said Le Blanc, who may or may not be known as Indiana Jones among his friends. “It keeps going. We haven’t reached the end yet.”
Caron echoed the significance of their revelation: ““Normally you have to go to the moon to find that kind of thing.”
Currently, part of the Saint-Leonard Cave is accessible via guided tours, though it’s a very limited area compared to the recently discovered expanse. Neighbourhood officials have already expressed interest in opening the underground cathedral to the public. Until then, the duo will continue exploring their new playground.