2018-2019 - Geology, Known and unexplored caves


#21

I’m guessing this is where this would go:


#22

#23

Shucks, I was just trading in my Nurse Mates ™ for some climbing boots. :wink:

$1 Mil - they be super serious bout this!


#24

So that’s where the Incas hid their gold! :rofl:


#25

Wanna go find out? Just need a helicopter to get there.


#26

Hopefully the fine will deter those “wanna be cavers” who think they can go weekend exploring!


#27

#28

The environment of caves often leads to very slow metabolic rates I believe… mostly due to the temperature and food supply… a cave dwelling creature can go years between simply finding some food… consider then finding a mate (if required)… and they have to be careful about taking specimens… in some caves taking even one could upset the whole ecosystem… another reason why cave locations are kept concealed from the general public… simply walking in them can destroy the balance… we tend at first to see mud… and a biologist sees an active ecosystem… often for them it is a hard choice… study and maybe destroy or stay away and let it go it’s own way… There are many caves that have clearly marked paths through certain areas to avoid that possibility… even the formations, like stalagmites and stalactites take eons to grow… about 1 cc per 1000 years… maybe a better term would be accrete… they are calcium carbonate mostly not living… in dry areas that can be much slower now… but might have been higher in their heyday… some even redissolve…

Secrecy has been a two way street… recreational cavers vs scientists… rec types don’t want to tell locations because they suspect that researchers would ‘lock’ them out completely… and the scientists get frustrated when they get to the remains of what was there untouched a few years earlier…
Both get ticked off at the ‘tourist’ and ‘rock collector’ crowd who will descend on a cave and strip them of speleothems… the formations… so they can collect or sell them at flea markets… there are areas that have some formations in small pockets or in quarries where they were exposed that satisfy most legitimate collectors…

Like many things… best experienced in the wild… very carefully