Lechuguilla Cave is the eighth-longest explored cave in the world, at 138.3 miles. It is also the second deepest in the mainland United States at around 1,604 feet deep. It is most famous for its unusual geology, rare formations, and pristine condition. Some parts of the cave have never been untouched by humans for our entire existence, and much of the area has only been accessed by a select group of cavers and researchers.
The cave is named after the canyon that it is accessed through, which is named for Agave lechuguilla, a species of plant that is typically found there. Lechuguilla is in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. However, access to the cave is limited to approved scientific researchers, survey and exploration teams, and National Park Service management-related trips. This may be a massive disappointment, but it is for a very good reason. While it is great to be able to see places like this in person, tourism often destroys some of these natural wonders.
Exploration in caves sometimes yields wondrous sights. This cave pool, found in Lechuguilla Cave, appears to be…
Locals were aware of Lechuguilla Cave for many years, but it wasn’t until 1986 when a scientific excavation discovered that there was much more to the caverns than was initially thought.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science filmed one of the first documentaries of the cave, titled Lechuguilla Cave: The Hidden Giant, in 1987. The documentary featured many of the cavers responsible for the initial breakthrough. The video was broadcast on the Denver PBS station KRMA-TV in 1989.
In May of 2012, a team led by Derek Bristol of Colorado climbed over 410 feet into a dome and discovered several new passages, pits, and large rooms that were previously unexplored. This newly discovered section of the cave was named “Oz,” because many of its features were named after items from The Wizard of Oz.
Lechuguilla Cave holds a variety of rare speleothems, including lemon-yellow sulfur deposits, as well as 20-foot gypsum chandeliers, 20-foot gypsum hairs and beards, 15-foot soda straws, hydromagnesite balloons, cave pearls, subaqueous helictites, rusticles, U-loops, and J-loops. Lechuguilla Cave is much larger than nearby Carlsbad Caverns and has a wider assortment of speleothems.
Lechuguilla Cave lies beneath a park wilderness area that is controlled by the United States government. Researchers believe that the cave’s passages extend out of the park and into adjacent land that is owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM often sells land in its possession to oil companies for gas and oil drilling, and scientists are concerned that any potential drilling in the area could cause irreparable damage to the unprecedented site.
Lechuguilla Cave was also shown in the BBC documentary series Planet Earth. The fourth episode, titled “Caves”, airing on April 22, 2007, documented scientists and filmmakers exploring Lechuguilla Cave, including the Chandelier Ballroom, which has high-quality crystals. It took two years for the team to get permission to film.
In October 2016, crew members from London-based production company Nutopia explored Lechuguilla Cave with microbiologist Hazel Barton to film a sequence for the National Geographic series “One Strange Rock.”
2000-Year-Old Green Serpentine Mask Discovered At The Base Of A Pyramid In Mexico
There are many incredible pyramids across North America that are often overlooked by mainstream history. There is a deep history associated with these sites, which show incredible design and architecture. One great example is The Pyramid of the Sun, which is the largest building in Teotihuacan. Experts believe that the pyramid was built around 200 CE. The site is stationed along the Avenue of the Dead, which is directly in between the Pyramid of the Moon and the Ciudadela.
The site is surrounded by the nearby mountain of Cerro Gordo, which towers over the region casting a massive shadow. The pyramid itself is merely one component of a larger complex that is in the heart of the city. This site has been a rich source of cultural artifacts, as archaeologists are still continuing to make incredible discoveries that show us just how advanced our North American ancestors were.
In 2011, researchers who were studying the site found a small treasure trove of items that they estimated to be almost 2,000 years old. Some of the experts in the field believed that these items might have been placed as offerings, to commemorate the state of construction of the Teotihuacan Pyramid of the Sun.
The pyramid was built over a man-made tunnel leading to a cave located six meters down beneath the center of the structure.
Included in the treasure trove were rare pieces of obsidian, along with the type of pottery and animal remains that researchers have come to expect from sites of this time period. Among the most impressive pieces were three humanoid figurines that were made out of a strange green stone. There was also a perfectly crafted serpentine mask, which archeologists believe might have been a part of some kind of portrait.
Perez Cortez, an investigator with the Zacatecas INAH Center, was among the researchers who made the initial finding. Cortez says that they were pretty certain that the items were made as offerings for some type of dedication ceremony. Scientists and researchers with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have been working at the site for a few years now, making sporadic findings around the pyramid. So far, the team has created 3 small tunnels, and have dug 59 holes to explore the inside and the base of the pyramid. In their searches, they have found some human burials and pottery, but this is their most astonishing finding thus far.
According to historians, the name “Pyramid of the Sun” comes from the ancient Aztec tribe, who reportedly visited the city of Teotihuacan many centuries after it was abandoned by its original inhabitants.
similar objects like obsidian arrowheads and human figurines have also been discovered at the nearby Pyramid of the Moon and Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent in the Ciudadela, although the human figurines are not nearly as remarkable as the ones seen here.
The first major historical artifact was discovered at the site in the nineteenth century. The artifact is known as the Teotihuacan Ocelot, and it can now be found in the British Museum’s collection.
‘Greta Thunberg’ Seen On 120-Year-Old Photo
The famous and controversial teen activist Greta Thunberg has the internet going crazy again, but this time the story is a bit hard to believe.
A photo has recently begun to circulate on the internet, which is estimated to have been taken about 120 years ago.
However, there is a young girl in the photo that seems to look exactly like Greta Thunberg.
The photograph is authentic and was found the digital collection of photos at the University of Washington.
The photo shows three children operating a rocker at a gold mine on Dominion Creek, Yukon Territory, in roughly 1898.
In the left hand side of the black and white photo, there is a girl that has a striking resemblance to the young climate activist.
This is not the first time that this has happened with a celebrity. Every now and then an old photo pops up that looks like someone famous, with Nicolas Cage being one of the most notable examples of this phenomenon.
However, experts believe that this is just a matter of a common face.
In the short year that Greta has been involved in her activism, she has quickly been thrust into the heights of fame.
This month, the teenager gave a speech at the United Nations, and was involved in an unprecedented climate lawsuit involving the UN.
There is also some discussion of nominating the child for the Nobel Peace Prize for her activism. However, not everyone is a Greta fan.
In fact, she has many critics who believe that she is being used as a pawn to promote a specific political agenda.
What do you think? Is Greta a leader who is here to save the world, or is she just a child that is being used to promote a political agenda? Tell us in the comments!
‘Extinct’ Leopard Spotted for the First Time Since Disappearing in 1983
The Formosan clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa brachyura), which was thought to have been extinct for years was recently seen by a number of witnesses in the jungles of southeast Taiwan.
Residents of the Alangyi Village recently spotted a Formosan clouded leopard hunting goats on a cliff in Taitung County’s Daren Township.
After the reports, the Taitung District Office of the Forestry Bureau began investigating the sighting to confirm that the species was still in existence.
Kao Cheng-chi (高正治), President of the Association of the Austronesian Community College Development Association and village chief of the Paiwan Tribe, said that his search teams did confirm seeing the animal in June of last year, when his office sent rangers in the direction of the reports.
Until now, there have been no sightings of the animal for decades and it was thought to be entirely extinct by scientists.
According to historical records, the rare species of cat was first spotted in the 13th century.
“Following extensive logging of its natural habitat, clouded leopards retreated into the Yushan Range and Tawu Mountain. Today, the Tawu Mountain Nature Reserve is a protected area encompassing about 480 km2 (190 sq mi) that harbors the largest remaining primary forest in southern Taiwan and comprises tropical and subtropical rainforest as well as temperate broadleaf and mixed forest and temperate coniferous forest,” according to Wikipedia.
The species was mythical in the area of Taiwan, and many western researchers began to believe that this animal never existed. However, locals did take many animal pelts to trade with westerners, which did give evidence of their existence.
Sadly, this over hunting may be a reason why the animal is endangered. Although the Rukai, Taiwanese aborigines, considered the hunting of clouded leopards a taboo, over deforestation has caused many other local tribes to poach them for the money that they could get for their pelts,
Clouded leopards prefer to live in closed, primary evergreen tropical rainforests in Southeast Area, a habitat that is experiencing the world’s fastest deforestation.
Deforestation in Southeast Asia is greater than previously recorded, according to authors of a recent analysis of satellite image data.
The researcher’s highlight, in particular, the extensive but previously unrecorded conversion of higher-elevation forest to cropland.
By combining multiple streams of high- and medium-resolution satellite imagery, the multinational research team calculated that Southeast Asia lost 82,000 square kilometers (31,700 square miles) of forest to croplands between 2000 and 2014, according to Mongobay.
“We cannot use satellite imagery to tell a mature tree crop plantation from forests. Tree crop has been counted as forest by Hansen [and colleagues], and also in our study. It means that, if you count it as agriculture, there is even more deforestation and agricultural expansion,” lead author Zhenzhong Zeng, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University explained.
“I believe the method is easy to replicate, as all datasets are open to the public, and the methods have been well described in the paper. [It] is a labor-intensive process. It cost me a month just to visually interpret the satellite imagery,” Zeng said.
Zoologist Chiang Po-jen, of the Mammalogical Society of Taiwan, is part of a team that has searched for the Formosan clouded leopards for the last 13 years, according to CsMonitor.
“A forest with clouded leopards and a forest without clouded leopards mean something different. A forest without clouded leopards is … dead,” Dr. Chiang told the Taipei Times in 2013.
National Taitung University’s Department of Life Science professor Liu Chiung-hsi said to Focus Taiwan News Channel: “I believe this animal still does exist”.
The President of the Association of the Austronesian Community College Development Association and village chief of the Paiwan Tribe, Kao Cheng-chi has confirmed rangers were set up by the Alangyi Village last June.
Due to the significance of the sighting, the village chief said members of the Alangyi Village held a tribal meeting to discuss the sightings and to stop outsiders from hunting in the area.
The deputy director of Taitung Forest District Office, Huang Chun-tse, said they are hoping to confirm the sightings and want a scientific investigation into the sightings.
The Formosan clouded leopard are exclusive to Taiwan. They were declared officially extinct six years ago after a 13-year-long study by a team of zoologists failed to spot one leopard, according to Yahoo News.
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