Carlsbad Caverns

Located in Southern New Mexico, Carlsbad Caverns National Park is situated in the Guadalupe mountains, about 18 miles southwest of Carlsbad New Mexico.

Explorer Jim white named many of the rooms, and prominent features, such as the totem pole, and the witches finger. On October 25, 1923, it was named a National Monument, and then on May 14th 1930 it was named a National Park.
The park was created to preserve the caverns themselves along with many other caves. In fact the area contains 83 separate caves, and the nations deepest limestone cave, measuring 1,597 feet. Caverns National Park Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns is the third longest, and contains one of the largest underground chambers in the world, and many beautiful and unusual formations.

The cave is home to around 1 millions Mexican Freetail bats, one of the many rooms is called Bat Cave, it is located in a passageway near the natural entrance. Here they crowd together on the ceiling during the day.

Up to 7 other types of bat make their home here as well, but none as numerous as the Mexican Freetail. One of the main attractions of these caverns is the exits of these bats every evening.

It may begin with only a few bats trickling out of the cave, but within moments a virtual tornado of thousands of bats begin to pour out in a spiral formation to hunt in the darkening sky.

The caverns were used more than 1000 years ago by Native Americans looking for shelter from the elements, and this is known by drawings on the walls near the entrance.

In the 1800’s settlers became aware of the caves due to the sight of thousands of bats emerging. The used this to their advantage, by mining the guano(bat droppings) and selling it as fertilizer. One of these, was the aforementioned Jim White.
As he tried to spread the word about this natural wonder, people tended to disbelieve him, unable to imagine this huge underground wonderland, but a photographer, Ray Davis who had accompanied him soon began circulating photographs, and soon everyone wanted to see the beautiful formations.

When word reached Washington D.C. An investigator, Robert Holley, was sent to see for himself. After exploring a bit he sent word back, and later that year it was named a National monument. White, the original explored became the ares first chief ranger.
Exploration of the caverns is still going on today, as recently as 1993, experienced cavers have discovered new rooms.

Find out more about the Carlsbad Caverns National Park over at Wikipedia »


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