Try not to get stuck!
March 27, 2015 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Deep Cave in Edwards, Texas, has a regular entrance, and a ...rather more claustrophobic one.
posted by Blue Jello Elf (54 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
lol no
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:23 PM on March 27, 2015 [14 favorites]


Try not to get stuck!

GOOD ADVICE THANKS
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:31 PM on March 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


halp
posted by lalochezia at 4:40 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


As a kid, I went spelunking with my dad in a few caves, and at a few points we'd have to crawl through tight squeezes a body part at a time. Once I remember a spot in which the ceiling was really high--even my light couldn't reach the top--but the passage was about a foot wide. You had to suck in your belly and hold your breath to squeeze through. At the time, as a skinny kid, it was fun, but the thought of doing that now just sets me in a cold sweat.
posted by zardoz at 4:42 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nope. Gives me the heebee jeebees just watching him.
posted by BoscosMom at 4:43 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


gif
posted by Lanark at 4:43 PM on March 27, 2015 [9 favorites]


... but the thought of doing that now just sets me in a cold sweat.

That would certainly help!
posted by jamjam at 4:48 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nope
posted by chaoticgood at 4:56 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


PLUS ITS DARK - NOPE.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:56 PM on March 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


In those origin stories that start with the earth giving birth to the first men and women, I imagine that it would have looked about like this.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:57 PM on March 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


(though the video is awesome in a gut clenching way)
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:57 PM on March 27, 2015


nope nope nope nope nope
posted by BungaDunga at 4:57 PM on March 27, 2015


posted by Blue Jello Elf

Yep, appropriate.
posted by bonje at 4:58 PM on March 27, 2015


That hurt me just watching it. Not in a physical way. I just remember some of tight spots in the caves I went in as a kid and the panic, the mind-erasing fear, that they created.
posted by Seamus at 4:59 PM on March 27, 2015


This makes me want to go and reread Ted the Caver.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:07 PM on March 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


Reminds me of The Enigma of Amigara Fault, but worse.
posted by GrumpyDan at 5:11 PM on March 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


I remember spelunking down the fissure at Enchanted Rock my first summer at math camp but thinking back on it now I don't know how I managed. I'm pretty sure I bailed at an early exit right before a super tight squeeze, but still... no way I'd even enter these days.
posted by kmz at 5:13 PM on March 27, 2015


And ah one, ah two, ah three!!

NOPE NOPE NOPE at the ball game!!
posted by eriko at 5:21 PM on March 27, 2015


NO NO NO NO NO NO

OH GOD NO
posted by winna at 5:23 PM on March 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


NO THANKS this is literally my most common nightmare which I will definitely be having tonight.
posted by augustimagination at 5:31 PM on March 27, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fuck this fuck this and fuck this some more
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:52 PM on March 27, 2015 [12 favorites]


I looked it up and the native American term for this natural rock feature is 'toilet hole'.
posted by biffa at 5:55 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jesus. Fuck. NO. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:57 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a nightmare.
posted by Fizz at 6:02 PM on March 27, 2015


As I've agreed, it is a nightmare. A nightmare I have enthusiastically shred with fifteen or sixteen other claustrophobic friends. Its like we all are terrified of this but can't stop watching it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:15 PM on March 27, 2015


The guy trying to get out reminded me of the blackhead video from last week.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:33 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


AgentCorvid, whhhyyyyyyyy.....
posted by Mister Cheese at 6:42 PM on March 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I made it 30 seconds before nope nope nope.
posted by neilbert at 6:51 PM on March 27, 2015


Not a chance in hell. Can't even watch it.
posted by puddinghead at 7:26 PM on March 27, 2015




This may come as something of a shock to mefites who recognize my handle, but I'm something of a know-it-all jerkface.

So. I'm in Boyscouts, I have wired to my person with color coded telecoms wire I scavenged on a dumpster dive every imaginable accessory, as we are on a High Adventure trip to spelunk actual caves! My Dad the Scoutmaster is embarrassed. The Senior Patrol Leader is embarrassed. The host-scoutmaster who apparently spends his whole waking life underground cannot believe what a jerkface I am. The quartermaster for the troop is impressed with the organized and ordered gear, and that's because I was re-elected as quartermaster.

"I'm sorry, Scouts, I've been here a hundred times but I'm stuck!"

This is the guy who's been giving my dad immense flack about his jerkface kid.

"How are you stuck?" I demand, jerkfacedly.

"My foot, can't move it..." he says with no small irritation.

"Kid whose down there at my knees. Red and white wire. Pull on it. That's a swiss army knife. Hand it to me. I'll hand it to the scout ahead of me, and it will wind up in his hand, he can cut his bootlace and get free. Let me know if it doesn't, the green and blue wire is the backup pocketknife."

I spent the rest of the trip reading his rock-climbing equipment catalog. He hated me every minute of it, but man, it was a good rock climbing equipment catalog.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:30 PM on March 27, 2015 [13 favorites]


Nobody know how many souls Rockvag take. Elders claim can hear screams coming from direction of Rockvag if listen carefully. It is written in holy text that chosen one will one day emerge from Rockvag, who will lead us on many good hunts, and cook for us soup of enemies' marrow. Me, am just boy, who stay far away from Rockvag.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:41 PM on March 27, 2015


Nice. When I was younger, we'd go caving in a very dumb way, no helmets, no proper gear. There was a long passage in one cave called the birth canal. It was long enough that it took ten or fifteen minutes to move through, and tight enough that you had to shimmy through it on your stomach like an inch worm. If you started out with your arms in front of you, there wasn't enough room to move your arms down to your sides. So like a narrow rock tunnel. If you can imagine it, that can be a pretty claustrophobic kind of situation, given that you are completely surrounded on all sides by hundreds of feet of solid rock. Anyway, I was wriggling my way along, both arms in front of me like superman. Pushing a backpack in front of me an inch at a time. Unfortunately, like a dumbass, I wore a belt with a metal buckle. Which got caught on a sharp piece of rock. The realization that I couldn't move my hands down to my belt to free it was definitely panic inducing. I still have dreams from time to time about it...
posted by bepe at 9:17 PM on March 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


This gets all the NOPES from me. Every single one. Times ten. Topped with a WTF why would anyone do this all you people are crazy holy shit why god why.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:18 PM on March 27, 2015


Actually, this reminds me of the recent thread with videos of people walking on basically nonexistent pathways on the edges of huge cliffs in that I could only make it through the first 5 seconds before feeling like I might vomit and/or have a panic attack.

Why do I read these things right before bed?
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:18 PM on March 27, 2015


came to see the nopes. was not disappointed
posted by Vitamaster at 9:29 PM on March 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


It was okay after I muted it
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:43 PM on March 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think I could even get one of my feet in there. What's more, I wouldn't.
posted by Foosnark at 10:02 PM on March 27, 2015


"Pull me up if I get stuck, please."

That's right up there with "hold my beer and watch this!"
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:09 PM on March 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm the kind of person who would sneak out there at night with a jackhammer and open up that hole to a comfortable size. Every naturalist on Earth would be outraged at my act of vandalism, but I would sleep much better. I wouldn't even attempt to climb into the newly enlarged hole.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:35 AM on March 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


reversed gif
posted by Akeem at 2:37 AM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I belong to the org that owns the Deep & Punkin cave preserve, 230 lovely hilltop acres in lovely Carta Valley, TX. It's been amusing watching this go viral the last couple of weeks. These are the sorts of things cavers do for japes all the time- we have a squeeze box that someone hauls to national & regional conventions & there are contests with prizes at them.

The video got posted just to share with friends last year, and had a few hundred views until someone made the gif. It's funny having been sitting around at the cabin with some of these kids laughing about their antics a couple weeks ago & then to watch it blow up online here lately.

I don't think I ever would have fit through this particular hole. But there was a time in my youth that my head was the limiting factor for flat crawl ways (long gone - thanks, gut) when I knew if I could take my helmet off, turn my head sideways & push it through, the rest of my body would fit behind it. The chest was tough- breathe out then push/pull but the hips would always follow.

The few folks that do fit through this hole are all a bit smaller than usual, but there's no real danger. We could yank 'em out if need be.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:31 AM on March 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


Devil's Rancher you are now among the bravest people I know. This video scares the poop out of me but I can't stop watching it.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:50 AM on March 28, 2015


But there was a time in my youth that my head was the limiting factor for flat crawl ways (long gone - thanks, gut) when I knew if I could take my helmet off, turn my head sideways & push it through, the rest of my body would fit behind it.

First, AUGH OH MY GOD NO.

Second, ARE YOU ACTUALLY A CAT BECAUSE SERIOUSLY.

Finally, OH GOD NO.
posted by winna at 5:36 AM on March 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


It's the mystery of the unknown. Once you've got the fever, you will crawl through the gates of hell to see what's on the other side. It's paid off in spades a few times- there's nothing quite like the feeling of breaking through into a new room or passage that no human on Earth has ever seen before.

The worst is when you crawl until it just gets too tight & you have to back out. I've had a couple dicey moments in downward crawls where I had a gravity assist on the way in, then thrashed around & exhausted myself tring to back out when they didn't go. I am not immune to those "Oh god, what have I done?" moments at all.

I nearly quit caving in 2001 after getting stuck in a vertical crevice for about 10 minutes one time. I thrashed until I was out if strength then had to just lay there on a very sharp, painful protruberance for about 5 minutes while I caught my breath. We were on our way out of the cave & the people behind me would have literally had to climb over me to pull me out- an option we discussed. This was near the end if a 13-hour trip to the bottom of a 500-foot deep, multi-drop cave & I was just spent. Finally found a foothold & pushed myself out an inch at a time. Very unnerving moment.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:50 AM on March 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


Videos like that - and Devils Rancher's story, agh agh agh - make me breathe like I'm at a Lamaze class for several minutes afterwards, just because I can. The only thing that ever blocks the joy of unencumbered lung expansion for me is my dog flopping across my chest (and the day someone has to climb over me to rescue me from that is the day I trade in for a hamster).
posted by DingoMutt at 7:11 AM on March 28, 2015


So anyway, the Deep and Punkin Cave Nature Preserve is owned by the Texas Cave Management Association. We own several other caves as well. I manage the Lost Oasis cave preserve in South Austin (in case anybody wants to help us clear brush next Saturday morning) and I've been in Deep Cave once, and on many survey trips into Punkin. Punkin is a highly unusual cave in that we've recorded air temperatures in there in the mid 40's, which is about 20 degrees below average for Texas. The two caves are pretty near one another on the property but it's unlikely they'll ever connect.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:28 AM on March 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


GAH NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE
posted by sarcasticah at 7:52 AM on March 28, 2015


2001 after getting stuck in a vertical crevice for about 10 minutes one time

er
posted by lalochezia at 8:09 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I could have made it through that hole when I was 12, much less as an adult.
posted by tavella at 11:54 AM on March 28, 2015


My reaction is that it seems kinda fun but scary too.. So how does one get involved with caving? It seems an activity that has some learning curve. Is there like groups where you can get the beginner experience?
posted by Pantalaimon at 4:18 PM on March 28, 2015


So how does one get involved with caving? It seems an activity that has some learning curve. Is there like groups where you can get the beginner experience?

Local caving groups by and large are officially sanctioned chapters of the National Speleological Society, which keeps a list of said "grottos" (in the vernacular) that you can peruse. Most grottos will host the occasional beginner's trip, & generally have regular public meetings. The Austin "UT Grotto" meets odd-numbered Wednesdays, on UT campus, for example. Some are more active than others, some are more welcoming of newcomers than others, some have better websites than others (check Facebook) etc.

But show up at a local grotto meeting with a little enthusiasm and an open mind, introduce yourself and ask about trips.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:08 PM on March 28, 2015


>> reversed gif.

That reversed gif is just fantastic, Akeem.

It's uncanny and mesmerizing, but after watching it multiple times, I find it very difficult to point out specific things in it that stand out as unnatural.

And it looks so much more like dance to me than the version with time going forward!

Now I'm wondering whether, if we accept the idea that the arrow of time points in the direction in which entropy increases, we could say that the essence of dance is that it involves motions which appear to decrease entropy, and that this is part of what makes it so deeply fascinating -- dance embodies the opposite of inevitable decline and decay and constitutes a ritual against it.
posted by jamjam at 7:12 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


This kid will make a great caver. She's already exemplifying why one crawls through tight spaces- the reward!
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:12 PM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


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