What killed the Maya? ‘Blue Hole’ offers clues
To scuba divers and tourists, Belize’s famous “Blue Hole” underwater cave is a wonder, one of the “10 most amazing places on Earth,” according to the Discovery Channel.
To scientists, it’s something more: evidence of the drought that is suspected to have led to the demise of the Mayan civilization.
New research reinforces that theory, Rice University Earth scientist Andre Droxler told LiveScience.
The team drilled cores from the Blue Hole sinkhole and a nearby lagoon. They found that the ratio of titanium to aluminum changed in the ninth and 10th centuries, a period when the Mayan civilization in the Yucatan Peninsula went into decline. More titanium means that heavier rains were affecting the region, since the runoff from the area’s volcanic rock is rich in the element.