Photo by Jeremy Bishop from Pexels

We are fascinated by caves and continue to learn about, explore and map our own at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Every cave is unique and caves around the world and in the U.S. vary from place to place. If you’re curious about caves, check out these weird and interesting cave facts.

  1. While most caves are formed by the action of acidic water on karst, a landscape of limestone, dolomite, and gypsum, some are formed by lava tubes from volcanos or from meltwater in glaciers.
  2. In most caves, the dissolving of the karst takes more than 100,000 years to make enough space for one person.
  3. Ancient people were painting patterns and figures on cave walls more than 40,000 years ago. Scientists believe that Neanderthals might have painted on caves in the Iberian Peninsula up to 64,000 years ago and a figure of an animal on Borneo more than 40,000 years ago.
  4. Mayans built temples over caves or built them to look like caves because they believed that caves were the entrance to the underworld. Other ancient people also considered caves to be sacred spaces.
  5. A new cave dwelling species discovered at Glenwood CavernsArthropods, fish, amphibians, and insects that have evolved to live in caves are called troglobites. The first troglobite identified, in the 1700s was the eyeless white amphibian called the olm. Some, such as the blind wolf spider of Hawaii, the Devil’s Hole pupfish of Death Valley, and the Texas Blind Salamander, are found in only one location.
  6. Sulfur is the basis of nearly all life forms in the Cuevo de Villa Luz in Mexico. Single-celled organisms called Snotties oxidize the sulfur from underground springs.
  7. Humans have used caves for shelter, food storage, mushroom farming, hideouts from the law, and many other activities. The Reed Flute Cave in China was an air-raid shelter during World War II.
  8. The caves in Paradise Glacier on Mt. Ranier in Washington were world-famous for most of the 20th The caves have disappeared as the glacier melted.
  9. Some of the largest natural crystals ever found were formed in the Cuervo de los Cristales 1,000 feet under Naica Mountain in Mexico. Translucent gypsum beams are up to 26 feet long and weigh up to 55 tons. Temperatures in the cave reach 138˚F. It has been re-flooded since exploration.
  10. Three million wrinkle-lipped freetail bats live in Deer Cave in Mulu National Park on the island of the Borneo, one of the world’s largest known cave passages.

Learn more about caves and explore them for yourself at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs. Make plans to visit today!

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Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe

Gene Stowe was a reporter for The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer for 13 years and head of the writing program at Trinity School at Greenlawn, a four-time U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School in South Bend, Ind., for 10 years before he became a full-time freelance writer in 2008. His first book, Inherit the Land: Jim Crow Meets Miss Maggie’s Will, was published in 2006. He lives in Monroe, N.C.