||Carlsbad Caverns is
an astonishing underground maze
of natural chambers and tunnels.
It is situated in the foothills of the Guadeloupe Mountains in the extreme
southeastern corner of New Mexico.
subterranean spaces include the
largest single cave in the United States.
|The caverns were first
discovered in 1901 when a
huge number of bats were observed
flying out of
an opening in the ground. Carlsbad
declared a national monument in
1923, and the
surrounding lands were designated
a national park
in 1930. Through some 23 miles
of passages have
been explored, the total length
of the passages
probably will never be known.
believe that the caverns began forming
about 60 million years ago, when
the same earth
movements that raised the Rocky
up the limestone reef bordering
a shallow inland sea.
The water seeped into the breaks,
and when he sea
receded, between five million and
one million years
ago, it left the hollowed-out chambers
Since then, the slow leak of surface
water has created fantastic stalagtites and stalagmites on ceilings and
|The deepest discovered
level of the Carlesbad Caverns
is 1,100 feet underground. the
largest cavern, called the Big Room, has a floor area as large as 14 football
Since this was once filled with
a sea, can you imagine what's at the bottom of our oceans now?
Exploring caves is called