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cave formations

Caves: A Subterranean Wonderland
 

Caves: A Subterranean Wonderland

Travel into mysterious environments where earthly formations first take shape under the ground. Discover how caves form and what grows inside them, including popcorn, flowstone, and the better-known stalactites and stalagmites. Year after year, these fragile cave deposits develop very slowly.

Smithsonian
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Cave Diving Reveals Secret World

Cave Diving Reveals Secret World

Strap on a virtual helmet and headlamp and take a video tour of an underwater cave complex formed by a meteorite. More...

Video
BBC
Cave Photo Gallery

Cave Photo Gallery

From tiny threadlike minerals to large lily pad-like shapes, from cave pearls to huge columns, the photos from caverns in California’s Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks show incredible variety. More...

Images
National Park Service
Make Stalactites and Stalagmites

Make Stalactites and Stalagmites

Five items are all you need to make your own formations. Cave stalactites and stalagmites take a very long time to form, but you just need to wait a few days and watch what happens More...

Activity
Science Kids
A Rare Glimpse of the Cave of Crystals

A Rare Glimpse of the Cave of Crystals

A true geological wonder, Mexico’s Cave of Crystals contains gigantic natural crystals, some measuring nearly 30-feet long. Watch and be wowed! More...

Video
BBC
Cave Formations or Speleothems

Cave Formations or Speleothems

From draperies and soda straws to cave popcorn and bacon, explore the many speleothems than can be found in underground caverns. More...

Images
Sierra Nevada Recreation Corporation
Cavern of Crystal Giants

Cavern of Crystal Giants

A limestone cavern in Mexico encloses extreme heat and humidity — and enormous crystals. Some longer than 30 feet and several feet thick, the glittering formations could be half a million years old. More...

Article
National Geographic
Karst Topography: A Unique and Fragile Environment

Karst Topography: A Unique and Fragile Environment

Watch how karst areas, or regions of irregular limestone, can form sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns with fragile ecosystems. More...

Video
Middle Tennessee State University
The Lives of Extremophiles

The Lives of Extremophiles

Diana Northup studies extremophiles in caves. What she calls blue goo, slime balls, and snottites may give clues about Earth’s earliest life and the possibility of life in outer space. More...

Profile
NOVA/PBS
Tour Carlsbad Caverns

Tour Carlsbad Caverns

Travel to Carlsbad National Park in New Mexico to see the largest underground chamber in the US. The formations in this 1/4-mile-long cavern include the Whales Mouth, Baby Hippo, and Iceberg Rock. More...

Video
Finley Holiday Films
Animation of a Cave Formation

Animation of a Cave Formation

Caves usually take thousands of years to develop, but you can watch one take form very fast in this animation. More...

Interactive
McDougal Littell
How Caves Form

How Caves Form

What do rainwater, waves, lava, and bacteria have in common? They are all forces of nature that can create caves over many years. Click on a cave-creator in this interactive to see how it’s done. More...

Interactive
NOVA/PBS

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