Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Inner Space Cavern

We love caves!  On our Texas trip, I had to find out if there were any we could see.  I struck gold with the Inner Space Cavern.  It was discovered by road crews as they were constructing I-35.    The first person to see the cave was a worker who was lowered into a 2' circular opening, to find himself in a large cavern with beautiful formations. The holes they drilled can still be seen.  We have explored caves with Jasper before, but strangely enough, we have never been in a limestone cave, even though they are a very common kind.  Inner Space Cavern is a privately owned cave, and the contrast to the caves we have explored on public land was obvious.  Our guide did mention that there are bats living in the cave, but there were no precautions to prevent visitors from bringing white-nose syndrome into the cave.  (It has not yet spread to Texas, but it is obliterating bat populations elsewhere in the US and is likely spread by humans who track the fungus spores in on their shoes.) He did not explain that touching the formations damages them, although there is one formation visitors are encouraged to touch. There is electric lighting installed throughout the cave.   Our guide showed us all the different types of formations, explained how they grow and how long it takes.  We also got to see some of the ice age fossils found within the cave from animals that may have fallen in through an opening which has since been sealed.  This was the first cave we've explored where the temperature throughout the cave was close to the temperature outdoors; in this case warm and humid!  But in our books it was still really cool!
Photo by Jasper.
Photo by Jasper.
Photo by Jasper.
Photo by Jasper.
Photo by Jasper.
Photo by Jasper.
Photo by Jasper.
Visitors are encouraged to touch this particular formation.  

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