Fascinating cave Lechuga
• Fascinating cave Lechuga
Carlsbad Caverns, which are located in the United States, more than one decade are striking in their beauty speleologists and ordinary citizens. It is no coincidence, because in this geological park is one of the most beautiful and longest caves in the world - Lechuga.
It keeps its secrets until 1986. Since its opening on the map more than 190 km of underground tunnels was applied. When the first explorers descended the cave, they were not even aware of its true size. But the biggest surprise was not it. They did not know that soon all the world speleologists Lechuga recognize the most beautiful cave in the land.
It turned out that the cave walls covered with the finest lace fragile crystals. These crystals consist of gypsum - mineral which is delayed from the limestone. They are, quite literally, kilometers. But the walls Lechuga, unlike other caves eroded ground is not water - it is the result of an entirely different process.
Having gone deep into the cave, cavers discovered a whole galleries most bizarre formations, such as 5-timetrovye cones, overgrown crystals. Gypsum crystals Lechuga led scientists to wonder about the origin of the cave.
They found that the limestone caves eroded sulfuric acid. She ate, literally kilometers of caves. As soon as the sulfuric acid dissolves the limestone, gypsum is delayed - the basis fantastic interior Lechuga. One room is located at a depth of more than one and a half kilometers from the surface, simply defies description. It was called "plaster room with chandeliers." He became the grand opening. Such fanciful 6 timetrovye crystals can not be found in any cave in the world.
A cave walls presented another surprise. It turned out that extremophile bacteria feed on rocks. The discovery of life that exists outside of any dependence on the sun, once again prove how amazingly complex structure underworld.
The total length of all Lechuga halls of the cave is 210 kilometers, but the length - not only her dignity. In addition, it is also a very deep cave on the territory of the continental United States.
Today cave Lechuga (Lechuguilla Cave), discovered in 1986, is situated in the center of the research conducted by speleologists National Park. Its depth is 490 m, making it the deepest limestone cave in the United States. It is closed to the public, and the exact location of its entrance is relatively hidden information, in order to preserve the pristine cave.
Cave Lechuga until 1986 it did not use a special interest among visitors to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. She had a 30-meter-high entrance doorway that led into the depths of nearly 130 m and ended in a dead-end termination. In the 1950s cavers heard the roar of the wind out of the rubble stones littered the bottom of the cave. Various experts have concluded that the cave is the corridor under the rubble. Group of Colorado cavers gained permission from the National Park Service on the excavation in 1984. The discovery of a major underground passage was May 26, 1986.
This was followed by a fascinating study of one of the most famous caves in the world. Since 1986, researchers have mapped over 180 km of passages, caves depth established at the level of 490 m.
Cave Lechuga takes the 5th place in the category of the longest cave in the world (the third in the United States) and is the deepest in the United States. Cavers, attracted by unexplored passages and unparalleled beauty, come here from all over the world for its research.
Cave Lechuga is unusual not only because of its enormous size. Cavers have opened here a large amount of gypsum and lemon-yellow sulfur deposits. Fantastic set of rare speleotem (speleotemy - mineral deposits that were formed in the caves as a result of the water drip), some of them unique.
Lechuga cave surpasses his sister, Carlsbad Caverns, size, depth, and variety speleotem, even though the latter does not have such rooms, which could be compared with great big rooms Carlsbad Caverns. Cave Lechuga is a real underground laboratory where geological processes can be investigated on the basis of virtually untouched environment.
Until 1986, the cave is not anything special and different, it would seem, no significance was not, except that in 1914 there was mined bat guano. Then the entrance to the cave was a 27-meter pit, from which the blind passages diverge with total length of 122 meters.
The cave is literally filled with all sorts of "decorations": 6-foot plaster chandeliers and sag, shaped like hair and beard, a 5-meter straw soda, gidromagnezitnye balls, cave pearls, dozens of amazing underwater formations and a variety of U- and J- shaped passages and loops.
Access Lechuga limited not just - in many passages are possible gas leaks and explosions, as there is a possibility of landslides as a result of oil drilling in the surrounding area, so that the general public has not yet opened the cave and is unlikely to be opened in the near future.