The Mammoth Cave can rightfully be called a unique combination of mystery, extraordinary charm and phenomena. This is a real miraculous monument of lakes, canyons, rivulets, waterfalls, spacious halls with a domed ceiling and narrow corridors located deep underground. This amazing kingdom is located eighty kilometers from the town of Bowling Green, Kentucky. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being the largest network of underground passages in the world.
Mysterious karst sinkholes, underground waterfalls, unusual configurations of caves have attracted huge crowds of tourists for a long time. During all this time, no one has been able to accurately recognize the real area of the Mammoth Cave, information about new channels and caves regularly appears, the underground boundaries of the fairy labyrinth are becoming wider and wider. This is the longest network of corridors in the world, even if you connect the lengths of the second and third caves, Mamontovaya will still be 160 km longer than them.
A bit of history
According to anthropologists, people first entered the Mammoth Cave about 4000 years ago. Making their way through the nooks of the cave, they used torches made from reed stalks that still grow near the dungeon. Scientists found the oldest remains of burnt torches within a radius of many kilometers inside the labyrinth. About five kilometers from the entrance to it, the mummified remains of a gypsum miner, who died about two thousand years ago, were discovered. The man was crushed by a huge boulder.
According to legend, the first of the Europeans who stumbled upon the underworld was one of the Hauchain brothers. He hunted nearby and, in pursuit of the shot beast, came across the entrance to the dungeon.
During the war of 1812, saltpeter was mined in the underground for the mass production of gunpowder. After the end of hostilities in 1815, the profitability of the extraction and sale of saltpeter fell sharply, and the work was stopped. Over the next two decades, the Mammoth Cave served as an attraction for numerous tourists.
In 1839, Dr. Krogan bought the rights to use the cave. John set up a nearby hotel to accommodate visitors and purchased three slaves, planning to use them as tour guides. One of them, Stephen Bishop, turned out to be a gifted explorer, he made many discoveries that added popularity to the cave.
The new owner was also interested in the possible medicinal qualities of the cave. In his opinion, the constancy of temperature and high humidity could improve the health of patients with tuberculosis. In the spring of 1842, in the spring, he brought several suffering from this ailment to the cave, settling them in houses specially equipped in the center of the dungeon. A year later, the medical experiment failed - some of the patients died, others began to feel even worse than before. Until now, in the underground kingdom, as a memory of the experiment, 2 houses built of stone have been preserved.
After the death of the last heir to the doctor Krogan, wealthy residents of the state decide to create a National Park on the territory of the amazing cave, thus protecting it for future generations. In May 1926, a law was passed with official permission to create the park. This decision was accompanied by a large resettlement of families living in the territory of the future reserve. The official opening took place on 1941-01-07.
It is interesting
The history of the formation of the Mammoth Cave is rooted in the distant, distant past. 325 million years ago, an ancient sea flooded over the central United States, depositing a layer of limestone over 180 meters thick. A little later, it was covered with a thick layer of clay shale and sandstone from an ancient flowing river.The layers were positioned exactly one above the other. Subsequently, the sea and the river were wiped off the face of the earth, and about 10 million years ago, due to erosion of the surface layer of the soil, a layer of limestone was exposed. According to geologists, it was then, thanks to the influence of rainwater, that labyrinths, halls, and voids of the old part of the Mammoth underground were formed.
Internal elements (columns, stalactites, stalagmites) in their bulk were formed at a rate of 1 inch cubed every 100-200 years.
In the early 1800s, the name Mammoth was first used to describe the dungeon. It had to do with the size of the labyrinth systems and stone corridors, implying their gigantic dimensions. Any assumptions about the presence of mammoth remains in it are false.
The Mammoth Cave is considered the longest underground kingdom thanks to the 584 km long passages. Speleological expeditions are still finding new corridors and making new versions of the map.
Once, each section of the Mammoth Cave was home to a population of 9-12 million bats. Now the number of living creatures is much lower (it has dropped to several thousand), in connection with which, ecologists are working on various projects to restore the previous population of animals.