There are various forms of life—from genes to species to the wide-ranging scale of ecosystems. We refer to this variety of all forms of life as ‘biodiversity.’ These species dwell in any places on Earth. Some of them live on trees; others dwell in caves. Artifacts would tell us that even prehistoric men lived in caves. During those times, they painted pictures on the cave walls. These people who live in caves are called cave dwellers.

 

 
 

King's Curtain, Sumaging Cave

 

A cave is a natural underground hollow or space, or passage. A large cave is called cavern. Aside from being underground, a cave may be found at the side of a hill or a mountain, or under a cliff. When water runs through an area with enough force to wear away rocks, a cave can be formed. Then as the water evaporates over the years, it leaves deposits of calcium carbonate called calcites. Hence, calcites form rock sculptures which are called stalactites and stalagmites. Stalagmites can be found on the ground, while stalactites hang from the ceiling. They become columns when they come together in the center.  

 

 

 

Exploring or excavating caves will surely give you a thrill. The science of exploring and studying all aspects of caves and their surrounding environments is called speleology. Exploring a cave for recreation is called caving, potholing, or spelunking.

 

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Have you been spelunking?

 

My friends and I did. We went to Sagada to experience the thrill of long-hours trekking and caving. Sagada is endowed with wonderful caves, and one of these caves is the Sumaging Cave. Did you know that it is the deepest cave in terms of vertical range and the fifth longest cave in terms of length in the Philippines? It has six entrances leading to a complex mix of active and fossil cave which is remarkable for its large passages and exciting gours. This cave is the third most famous cave in the country.

 

 
 

Tunnel caving

 

 

Spelunking will surely give you thrill and excitement!

 

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Visit the Philippine E-Journals site to know more about BIODIVERSITY.

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