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#16 Cool Caves

Caves are rocky habitats; they form in areas with soft limestone or dolomite rock. Caves are basically hollows in rock either below or above the ground.

How Caves are Formed

Over thousands of years, rainwater seeps through the soft rock and combines with carbon dioxide to form an acid, that gradually starts dissolving and eating away at the rock, to form hollow areas on the floor of the water table. The small cracks become holes and the holes become caverns. This takes millions of years for the hollowed out areas to join together and form a cave. Caves are often dark, cold, wet, damp and slippery.

Types of Caves

Just like snowflakes, no two caves are exactly the same. There are many types of caves, as caves can form in different ways. The different types of caves are; Solution Caves, Sea Caves, Lava Caves, Glacier and Ice Caves and Caves formed by bacteria

Solution Caves

The cave which forms when acidic water dissolves limestone is known as a Solution Cave. These kinds of caves are the most common and are found all over the world.

Sea Caves

Sea caves are formed by the force of waves crashing against the base of a cliff. They usually form in soft rock. Sea caves are located in coastal areas.

Lava Caves

These caves were formed by the explosion of hot lava. They form when the lava flows down the side of the volcano. The edges of a lava flow cools faster than the centre, therefore a crust forms over the top to make something like a tube.

Glacier and Ice Caves

Glacier caves are often called as ice caves.  However, they are not the same, because a cave formed entirely of ice is called a glacier. These are caves formed of ice and are made inside a glacier and change from season to season. It is dangerous to enter these caves because of melting and shifting ice. While an Ice Cave can be any type of cave that has ice in it throughout the year.

Caves formed by Bacteria

Some caves are formed by bacteria which feed on oil deposits deep in the earth and these bacteria give off a gas, which combines with oxygen to form a strong acid. This acid eats away the rock to form dangerous caves. People need to take their own oxygen if they plan to enter these caves.

Stalactites and Stalagmites

Many caves and caverns are filled with what look like giant stone icicles. Some of these icicles hang down from the roof of the cave, while others stick up from the floor. These are called Stalactites and Stalagmites respectively. They are often as thick as tree trunks. They are made by water trickling through cracks in the roof of a limestone cavern. The water is full of bits of calcite, as some of the water dries; it leaves bits of calcite stuck to the ceiling or floor. As each drop of water leaves more calcite, a cone begins to grow. Stalactites and Stalagmites join slowly to form floor-to-ceiling columns.

Man exploring a cave

Caves are fascinating places and they were also the first homes of prehistoric people. They are also home to many plants and animals. Bats are the most common animals found in caves.

Can you tell us the term used for the scientific exploration of a cave?


Cave paintings exist in caves on almost every continent except Antarctica!




Explore Response
#16 Answer

TEAM EXPLORE: The term used for the scientific or recreational exploration of a cave is spelunking, potholing or caving. While the scientific study of caves is called Speleology.

Best Response
Master Steve Austin Samuel 14 years.
June 29, 2014
In scientific terms,exploration of caves are called speleology.The term speleology is also sometimes applied to the recreational activity of exploring caves, but this is...

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Answers (4)
Master Steve Austin Samuel, 14 years | Posted June 28, 2014
the term used for the scientific exploration of a cave is speleology
Miss Mehak Juneja, 14 years | Posted July 04, 2014
The scientific exploration of a cave is called as potholing or caving.
Master Steve Austin Samuel, 14 years | Posted June 29, 2014
In scientific terms,exploration of caves are called speleology.The term speleology is also sometimes applied to the recreational activity of exploring caves, but this is more properly known as caving.
Miss Anchal Sharma, 15 years | Posted June 30, 2014
the answer is speleology or caving

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