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Maya Water World



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What a Meteorite Has Wrought
Photograph by Wes Skiles

A limestone shelf juts from the arid north shore of the Yucatán Peninsula. This region lies along the rim of a massive crater formed 65 million years ago when a city-size meteorite plowed into the Earth. The impact raised dust clouds that darkened the sky, altered weather, and triggered a mass extinction, including the dinosaurs. The meteorite also left a ring of fractures in the bedrock of the peninsula that gradually filled up with fresh water, forming holes known today as cenotes. Deemed a source of life by the ancient Maya, cenotes hold centuries-old artifacts ranging from everyday pots to the skeletons of human sacrifices.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon N90
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 100
Lens: Nikkor 24mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/250 @ f/5.6

Weather Conditions: Clear, warm, and 100 percent humidity
Time of Day: 10:30 a.m.
Lighting Techniques: Available light from the sun at my back.
Special Equipment or Comments: Harness to hang out door of helicopter



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