PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — As four more holes opened up in Hudson, there are now 20 depressions in one community, some of them growing. The holes started opening last week in a Pasco County neighborhood that happened to be built on top of caves.
They've been under the land for centuries, and in the 2000s, a group of intrepid divers went down to map them out.
Imagine diving under the ground, exploring passages below the streets and neighborhoods where people are living their daily lives.
Brice McMinn is a cave diver. He said he still gets nervous heading down into the unknown.
"It's a fear that, mostly, it limits your boundaries, your limitations and keeps you in check," McMinn said.
He's explored hundreds of cave systems, including the one that runs under Pasco County. McMinn was part of the team that mapped out that system in the early 2000s.
Even more: Floridacaves.com
"Just that area, the depths range to 40-50 feet to excess of 100 feet," he said.
He says the cave system under Pasco County isn't particularly deep, but it is "extensive."
He remembers using a sinkhole to enter the cave system.
"There was a former resident that one of the sinkholes was behind his house that he allowed us to access, so his kids would help us carry gear, or they'd be there after a dive and ask us, 'What did you find? What did you see? What was it like?'" McMinn told 10News.
McMinn isn't surprised to find neighborhoods on top of these systems, and says they're all over the Sunshine State.
"The cave systems can occur anywhere in Florida. I was told by a diver years ago that if you cut Florida it would look like Swiss cheese," McMinn said.
A geologist will have to decide if any of them can be called sinkholes. And for now, the caves below have not been directly tied to the holes in Hudson.
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