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Digest this: Newly discovered massive cave in Canada has a Star Wars connection

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Dec 4, 2018, 10:05 PM EST

A newly discovered cave in Canada may be the country's biggest to date — and it's been unofficially named after one of the most iconic locations in Star Wars lore.

According to CBC, the chasm was found by a helicopter crew flying over a remote northeastern area of Wells Gray Provincial Park in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

The crew were actually taking a census of the region's caribou population for the Ministry of  Environment and Climate Change when they came across the cavern. Based on the way it looks, they immediately (and unofficially) dubbed it Sarlacc's Pit, after the lair of the hideous creature nestled in the dunes of Tatooine that slowly digests its victims over 1,000 years — and where Boba Fett met his untimely fate — as shown in Return of the Jedi.

The giant cave does kind of look like the home of the Sarlacc, doesn't it? Just tucked in a green and rocky hillside instead of a parched desert landscape.

Geologist Catherine Hickson reckons it could be the largest cave ever discovered in Canada. The entrance alone is about 328 feet long and 197 feet wide, while Hickson and other experts have determined that the cave is at least 443 feet deep, if not more.

"It's about the size of a soccer field," Hickson explained. "So, if you think of a soccer field and you put that soccer field on its end so you have this pit going down. Think about this giant circular or oval hole that just goes down and down and down. It is truly amazing."

Hickson also noted that the cave was unusual for the area it's in, and may have formed over tens of thousands of years under glaciers. As those melt away due to climate change, more of the cave has been exposed and more of its features may eventually be investigated.

Sadly, the cave won't be known as Sarlacc's Pit for long. It will be formally named after geologists consult with First Nations, the predominant indigenous peoples in Canada who live south of the Arctic Circle and have considerable jurisdiction over the area.

Its exact location is also being kept a secret for now, pending further research — and no doubt to keep some overenthusiastic Star Wars fans from accidentally making themselves into Sarlacc food.

(via CBR