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Bounce Below

A Giant Network of Trampolines Suspended in an Abandoned Welsh Slate Mine Open to the public July 4th, 2014
posted by telstar on Jun 29, 2014 - 61 comments

"Be brave, but not too brave."

In Deep: The Dark And Dangerous World Of Extreme Cavers
On his thirteenth day underground, when he’d come to the edge of the known world and was preparing to pass beyond it, Marcin Gala placed a call to the surface. He’d travelled more than three miles through the earth by then, over stalagmites and boulder fields, cave-ins and vaulting galleries. He’d spidered down waterfalls, inched along crumbling ledges, and bellied through tunnels so tight that his back touched the roof with every breath. Now he stood at the shore of a small, dark pool under a dome of sulfurous flowstone. He felt the weight of the mountain above him—a mile of solid rock—and wondered if he’d ever find his way back again. It was his last chance to hear his wife and daughter’s voices before the cave swallowed him up.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 18, 2014 - 74 comments

It's so dark in there, it took us a long time to notice

Cave insect species discovered in which the female has a penis and the male has a vagina.
posted by Pater Aletheias on Apr 17, 2014 - 35 comments

Sinkhole of Bureaucracy

The US Office of Personnel Management's Retirement Operations Center is housed about 230 feet below the surface inside the caverns of an old limestone mine. The trucks full of paperwork come every day, turning off a country road north of Pittsburgh and descending through a gateway into the earth. Underground, they stop at a metal door decorated with an American flag. [more inside]
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons on Mar 23, 2014 - 74 comments

The Secret Sandstone Caves of New Mexico

"Paulette’s spectacular, Gaudi-like caves are easily on par with the most well-known land artists — Goldsworthy, Smithson, De Maria — yet only a small circle in Northern New Mexico is aware of his work." Jeffrey Karoff in the Santa Fe New Mexican. [more inside]
posted by stoneweaver on Nov 22, 2013 - 13 comments

Were the First Artists Mostly Women?

Were the First Artists Mostly Women? The National Geographic outlines a recent study on those handprints found near Neolithic Cave Art. By looking at finger length of the hand outlines on those walls, researchers hypothesize that 75% of the artists of iconic cave painting were women. Some adherents to other theories (the jubilent male hunter as artist; the hopeful male hunter as artist, the shaman as artist, the exploring young boy as artist) are not so convinced.
posted by julen on Oct 8, 2013 - 33 comments

Vietnam's Infinite Cave Tourism

World's Largest Cave, Son Doong, Prepping For First Public Tours (previously)
posted by kliuless on Sep 12, 2013 - 14 comments

Come! We must find the pin head!

A Mind Reader, A Pin Head, and a Fool; The Story of "Professor" Johnstone's Visit to Wind Cave [previously].
When they [the search party] arrived in that portion of the cave two members of the party were insensible. I was raving and Moore was the only man in his right mind. He had me down on the floor of the cave, my throat clutched with his hand while in the other hand he held a Colt revolver. We had had nothing to eat for five (sic) days and four nights. McDonald dies soon after that, one of the party was adjudged insane and taken to the asylum. I was almost blind and it was necessary to have an operation performed on my eyes.

posted by unliteral on Mar 10, 2013 - 8 comments

Push The Sky Away is the ghost-baby in the incubator

Push The Sky Away, the new album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, is streaming now. It's already garnered one negative review.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 14, 2013 - 38 comments

The Lady of Orda Cave

The Lady of Orda Cave Two-time world champion free diver Natalia Avseenko ventures deep into Ordynskaya Cave in Perm, Russia, one of the longest and biggest underwater gypsum caves in the world. She dressed as the mythical Lady of the Cave, a spirit who protects divers inside the “natural cathedral”. Orda Cave previously.
posted by apricot on Jan 28, 2013 - 13 comments

You travel all around the globe looking for the world’s most beautiful cave. . . and the best one is in Sheffield.

"During that trip I even had a leech stuck to my eyeball for a couple of days. We tried coaxing it off with some raw meat and salt." Robbie Shone takes eye-popping cave photos.
posted by unSane on Nov 1, 2012 - 74 comments

The Art That Time Forgot

Why does some cave art feature animals with multiple limbs and heads? French and Finnish researchers claim that prehistoric man was deliberately creating animated art, with the animals appearing to move in flickering torch or fire light.
posted by Wordshore on Sep 25, 2012 - 29 comments

It's a Different Nick Cave

Nick Cave's Soundsuits: Calling up echoes of wild beasts, Carnival dancers, maskers and shamans, the "soundsuits" made of a wild diversity of materials by visual artist and dancer Nick Cave have life beyond the gallery. They're designed to be used in performances and 'invasions,' creating a sense of mystery, playfulness and joyful moments of community.
posted by Miko on Sep 21, 2012 - 15 comments

Petzl RocTrip China 2011

We speak the same language, which is climbing.
posted by shoesfullofdust on Jul 1, 2012 - 15 comments

'OK, we are on our emergency plan'

Raising the Dead:'At the bottom of the biggest underwater cave in the world, diving deeper than almost anyone had ever gone, Dave Shaw found the body of a young man who had disappeared ten years earlier. What happened after Shaw promised to go back is nearly unbelievable—unless you believe in ghosts.'
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 17, 2012 - 68 comments

Orda Cave Awareness Project

Russian divers working for the Orda Cave Awareness Project have revealed stunning images of the world's longest underwater cave.
posted by bwg on Jul 12, 2011 - 38 comments

RIP Agnes Milowka

Agnes Milowka, vivacious and courageous cave diver, was found dead last week in Australia's Tank Cave. [more inside]
posted by googly on Mar 10, 2011 - 28 comments

O2BN Oceanus Procellarum

ISRO scientists think they have found a horizontal uncollapsed lava tube on the moon, 1.7 km long, 360 m wide, and 120 m high (roughly 1 mile x 1200 ft x 400 ft) which could be used as a lunar base by astronauts for inter-planetary missions. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter on Feb 26, 2011 - 82 comments

Ive seen things you people wouldn't believe

Meet Agnes Milowka, cave diver. She does things that I, for one, only have nightmares about. [more inside]
posted by googly on Sep 29, 2010 - 43 comments

A Murder Ballad of Crows

Nick Cave brought in to rewrite the remake of The Crow. Nick Cave, named one of Variety's 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2006, is rewriting the script for the remake of The Crow. Given his work on The Proposition and the sequel to Gladiator (as well as his first novel, And The Ass Saw The Angel), the results should be fascinating.
posted by Mountain Goatse on Jul 29, 2010 - 57 comments

"They moved and danced in front of these fires"

Werner Herzog's cave art documentary takes 3D into the depths: "Herzog has apparently been given permission to film inside the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave, a site in the Ardèche department of southern France that contains the earliest known cave paintings, dating back at least 30,000 years. Even more intriguingly, Herzog is planning to shoot much of the film in 3D." [more inside]
posted by The Mouthchew on Apr 13, 2010 - 29 comments

Twilight of the Giants

Last chance to see: Video of Mexico's Naica Cave of Crystals (Previously, and previously.) [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser on Jan 20, 2010 - 20 comments

Viewing Tianmen Mountain from a Great Distance

Tianmen Shan (天门山, Heaven's Gate Mountain) is an incredible cave natural arch eroded through a karst syncline. And yes, someone had the bright idea to fly stunt planes though it - an opening only 30m high, 70m deep, and 30m wide - it's a great video, though. [more inside]
posted by HopperFan on Nov 3, 2009 - 17 comments

It's Getting Hot in Herre / So Put On Coolin' Clothes

225° F (105° C) heat index. Easily impaled on 55-ton jagged crystals that are 36 feet long ... made out of drywall (kinda). "Most cameras with moving parts and tape mechanisms simply will not work."
posted by WCityMike on Sep 9, 2009 - 45 comments

Want to live in a cave?

Want to live in a cave? Here's your chance.
posted by slogger on Feb 17, 2009 - 43 comments

"An already difficult journey has become dangerous."

Long before people called themselves Muslims or Hindus, long before they fought and died over these or any labels... water dripped and froze inside the Amarnath Cave at the heart of Kashmir. Amarnath Cave official site. Amarnath Cave pilgrimage. Amarnath virtual tour. Wikipedia's page on the Amarnath land transfer.
posted by amyms on Aug 16, 2008 - 14 comments

China's last cave dwellers.

China's last cave dwellers.
posted by Soup on Nov 26, 2007 - 27 comments

Rapture ready, underground

Russian sect says world ends May 2008. And no, you can't borrow their cave. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Nov 15, 2007 - 43 comments

The allure of the underground city

Derinkuyu wasn't discovered until 1965, when a resident cleaning the back wall of his cave house broke through a wall and discovered behind it a room that he'd never seen, which led to still another, and another. Eventually, spelunking archeologists found a maze of connecting chambers that descended at least 18 stories and 280 feet beneath the surface, ample enough to hold 30,000 people. [flickr]. [wiki].
posted by dersins on Aug 31, 2007 - 48 comments

Down down in the salt mine underneath the ground

Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland has been in operation for 800-odd years. Needless to say, this has given the miners plenty of time to carve some pretty amazing things. More photos here and here. Videos here and here. Virtual tour here. Wikipedia.
posted by dersins on Aug 16, 2007 - 36 comments

Say "Xyzzy!"...Nothing happens

Real Life "Colossal Cave Adventure”! Discussion of original source code, different versions of the game, hand draw maps, and lots of photos inside the cave the game is based on. Grab your shiny brass lamp and tasty food and meet me at the Bedquilt entrance.
posted by cosmicbandito on Aug 13, 2007 - 17 comments

Fortress of Solitude

The gypsum crystals in the Cave of Crystals at the Naica mine in Chihuahua, Mexico, are some of the largest and most spectacular in the world. [Last link is a .wmv]
posted by dersins on Aug 3, 2007 - 18 comments

Buddha Paintings Found in Nepal

Paintings of Buddha dating back at least to the 12th century have been discovered in a cave in Nepal. Tipped by a local shepherd, a team of international researchers climbed to some old caves where they found a mural with 55 panels depicting the life of Buddha, reminiscent of the artwork of the Ajanta Caves in India (possibly NSFW). There are probably many other forgotten caves in the Mustang area (previously discussed here,) but they may be threatened by a planned trans-Himalayan highway.
posted by homunculus on May 13, 2007 - 22 comments

America's Deepest Cave

Another World In the New Mexico desert sits an unremarkable sinkhole. At the bottom of the 90-foot pit, a piece of stainless steel culvert juts up, sealed by an airlock. If you can get the National Park Service to unlock the door, you've reached the Holy Grail of American caving, Lechuguilla Cave.
posted by Kirth Gerson on May 6, 2007 - 40 comments

Find the hole!

Does the world's largest natural cavern lie below Mount Konocti in northern California? We might never know. The family who owns the mountain is trying to encourage tourism, but refuses to allow cave exploration. Meanwhile, local businessmen (including a relative of transistor coinventor John Bardeen) are trying to to build a tramway ride to the top of the mountain--with little success to date.
posted by metasonix on May 1, 2007 - 18 comments

Floyd Collins

Floyd Collins was a caver who became trapped in Sand Cave on January 30th, 1925 50m from the entrance by a 26 1/2 pound rock. He was found and provided with food and media attention until February 4 when a further collapse cut him off, leading to frantic tunneling attempts, but he was found dead on the 17th of February.
His body was recovered some time later, and displayed in a pay per view coffin. After his leg was stolen his coffin was removed from public display and in 1989 he received another burial under a tombstone reading "Greatest Cave Explorer Ever Known"
posted by scodger on Apr 27, 2007 - 28 comments

The Cave Castle

The Castle in Front of the Cave is, unsurprisingly, a castle in Slovenia fully integrated with a cave system; built in several stages beginning in the 13th century, the castle serves as the front to a large network of caves in the side of a mountain. This excellent flickr photoset has plenty more detail about the castle's history, defense systems & more. For those who want more detail, a series of QTVR panoramic images of the insides of the castle available on this Slovenian site. Via.
posted by jonson on Feb 20, 2007 - 24 comments

The diary of Alvin McDonald, "Chief Guide" of Wind Cave

The diary of 17 year old Alvin McDonald is a fascinating primary document about the exploration of Wind Cave. Like Stephen Bishop at Mammoth Cave, Alvin mapped and named many of the rooms in the cave. He died of Typhoid fever at the age of 20.
posted by cosmicbandito on Sep 14, 2006 - 11 comments

Gone to underground

The real Jewish Underground — During the Nazi occupation of World War II, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian Jews were killed or transported to Nazi concentration camps. In 1942 and 1943, thirty-eight men, women, and children aged 4 to 74 years survived by living underground in two caves for nearly two years (their 344 day stay in Priest's Grotto beat Michel Siffre's 1972 NASA research study.) Emerging at night to cut firewood and steal food, these unwilling troglodytes returned to the cave before dawn to avoid capture. Spelunker Chris Nicola first discovered their survival story (PDF, pp. 6-12) in 1993.
posted by cenoxo on Feb 22, 2006 - 23 comments

Cueva del Fantasma

Researchers have discovered a cave so large two helicopters can comfortably land inside it and containing a new species of poison dart frog.
posted by driveler on Feb 22, 2006 - 56 comments

Spelunkers, Ho!

The site design is somewhat unfortunate, but The Virtual Cave features lots of photos and information on, well, caves and cave formations. We've all heard of stalagmites and stalactites, but I'd never heard of cave draperies or cave pearls before. Then you've got your helictites, your aragonite, and your splash stalactites (found in lava tubes). And they've got a Show Caves Directory of caves in the United States that are open to the public, with addresses and contact information by state.
posted by Gator on Jan 14, 2006 - 23 comments

The Singing Pyramid?

Mystery of 'chirping' pyramid decoded: "A theory that the ancient Mayans built their pyramids to act as giant resonators to produce strange and evocative echoes has been supported by a team of Belgian scientists." Others are not so sure... Coincidence, or engineering? Did the designers of El Castillo pyramid cannily build in a sound effect that mimics the warble of the sacred quetzal bird? Listen for yourself, with the .wav file (first set is the real bird, the second is the pyramid) featured in this Acoustical Society of America page. I prefer to think it's deliberate; after all, it's possible that early man was experimenting with cave acoustics to to create sound-enhanced rock art (there are sound samples for this included here - unfortunately a Geocities site). Also of interest, the BBC programme "Acoustic Shadows" (requires RealPlayer - *heavy sigh*).
posted by taz on Feb 8, 2005 - 24 comments

Where did you sleep last night? Was it in a cave? A lighthouse, or a treehouse? Maybe it was in a teepee, a castle, or a vintage trailer. Perhaps you even slept underwater. What's the most interesting place you've ever paid to lay your head?
posted by gottabefunky on Sep 16, 2002 - 28 comments

50 foot long single spar crystals

50 foot long single spar crystals found in a Mexican cave 1,000 feet below the surface! Smithsonian has links to other related sites. This one has pictues. More pictures can be found in the April 2002 print issue of Smithsonian.
posted by onhazier on Mar 26, 2002 - 11 comments

8 people trapped in a cave

8 people trapped in a cave have been reached by rescuers. Against advice, they went spelunking during bad weather and got trapped by rising water. After two days they're safe, but they're weak, hungry and dehydrated. Our heros weren't able to find anything to drink in the middle of a flood. (I bet they'd also need to be rescued from an escalator during a power failure.)
posted by Steven Den Beste on May 18, 2001 - 26 comments

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