Exploration of the abyss

Come and explore the chasm of Fontaine de Vaucluse. Here you will discover the secrets of this mythical and mysterious source located in the heart of Provence.

If the “fountain” is also known today it is probably for its mysterious chasm whose explored part reaches 315 meters deep!

Important Dates

March 1878: The diver Nello Ottonelli made a descent to 23 meters deep.

September 1938: another diver named Negri reaches the 30 meters deep. During his descent, he will find the boat used by Ottonelli in 1878.

August 1946: Explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, along with his team from the GERS (Groupe d'Études et de Recherches Submarine), explores up to 46 meters deep, this is the beginning of the dives in autonomous scuba diving.

August 1955: a new dive organized by the French Office for Underwater Research allows you to reach up to 74 meters deep.

August 1967: this is the first exploration carried out by remote controlled robot, the “Telenaut”. It will reach 106 meters deep without being able to go further because of the waters made troubled by its forward against current.

September and October 1981: it's the beginning of immersion records! A first dive is carried out without permission by the German Hasenmayer reaching 140 meters. It will be followed a few days later by C. Touloumdjian who will reach the depth of 153 meters. This dive will be made possible by the manufacture of new gas mixtures present in the latter's equipment.

September 9, 1983: German Hasenmayer reaches 205 meters deep.

September 17, 1983 and September 22, 1984: The Sorgonaut, a robot, will film the abyss up to 243 meters deep that cannot go further because of the insufficient length of its cable. He will be lost in 1984 around 233 meters.

August 2, 1985: The Molexa, a robot rented on the occasion of a new expedition, will be located after 3 hours of exploration on a sandy bottom at 315 meters deep. This is the lowest point known to date!

1997: The diver Pascal Bernabé descends to 250 metres deep. This is the deepest human dive to date in the abyss.

Archaeological Discoveries

During the various explorations carried out in the abyss of the 'fountain' several vestiges of the past were discovered.

In 2001, several hundred bronze, silver and gold coins were found, placing the Fontaine-de-Vaucluse as one of the most important votive sources of Roman antiquity.

It was in 2002, after a week of diving at the rhythm of two immersions a day, that a very large part of the parts was brought back to the surface.

If you want to explore the abyss in image and return in the footsteps of the explorers, we offer you a virtual tour available from the website of the Société Spéléologique de Fontaine-de-Vaucluse: https://www.ssfv.fr/

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