Luray Caverns

Look Out – Nature is Leaking!

Image Credit: Flickr User InSapphoWeTrust, via CC

Cold air from below hit him right away. On such a warm day, it should have felt good. Yet thirteen-year old Quint shuddered as he stepped into the tiny hole they had dug in the rocks. Sliding down the rope, he hoped the darkness would mask his fear. But nothing prepared him for what lay ahead.

After sliding down, for what seemed like ages, Quint finally reached solid ground. Uncle Campbell’s candle threw long shadows around them. He scarcely believed what he saw. There were rooms ten storeys high, eerily studded with rows and rows of stalactites and stalagmites! They had discovered one of the world’s “most spectacular natural wonders” – the Luray Caverns.

Luray Caverns is a popular tourist attraction in Eastern America. Today you need not slide down a rope to reach these caves. Convenient stairs and elevators carry you inside. Nor do you need candles anymore. Just follow the well-lit pathway snaking through magnificent views of these natural wonders!

Luray Caverns - Well lit pathway
Image Credit: Flickr User brownpau, via CC

Look to one side, can you see a woman’s veil hanging from the roof? Or do they look like flimsy white curtains on gigantic windows? And what’s that – a frozen waterfall?

Women's veil or curtains
Image Credit: Flickr User Philip Larson, via CC

This other room is full of fried Dinosaur eggs! Did the Dream Lake enchant you? This underground water body creates an interesting reflection of the delicate stalactites above.

Fried dinosaur eggs??
Image Credit: Flickr User, via CC

Quint discovered these magical formations about 150 years ago, but they had been in the making for millions of years! Infact they are still growing right before your eyes!

Stalactites hang from the ceiling like icicles. While Stalagmites stick up from the ground like ant-hills. They grow in pairs and sometimes look like mirror images. Often they grow to join together and become a column.

Acidic water that leak through cracks in limestone rocks carries some of the mineral along. Once the water reaches the roof of a cave it begins to drip down. When the drop falls or evaporates it leaves some minerals behind. Over time more mineral keeps sticking around it, thus forming a stalactite. When the drop falls to the ground, it creates a corresponding stalagmite.

A unique attraction at Luray is the great Stalacpipe Organ, the world’s largest musical instrument. It creates notes by electrically tapping various stalactites using rubber-tipped mallets.

Great Stalacpipe Organ
Image Credit: Flickr User kaitlin.marie, via CC

Get mesmerized by the sight. Get enchanted by the music. This is a visit to remember!

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