June 6th is National Caves and Karst Day
The National Caves Association is celebrating their second annual National Caves and Karst Day on June 6th. Members of the NCA created this day to raise awareness of the crucial roles both caves and karsts play in our lives and encourage people to get out and visit a cave this Summer! One of the best spots to learn all about caves is right here at the Lake of the Ozarks! Missouri is known as the "Cave State" with 22 show caves open to the public. The Lake of the Ozarks is the only area in the world where you can find four show caves within 30 minutes of each other. These caves include: Bridal Cave, Jacobs Cave in Gravois Mills, Ozark Caverns in Linn Creek, and the newly reopened Stark Cavern in Eldon. Even if you do not have the chance to see a Cave, it is the perfect day to take the time to sit down with your family and plan out a couple days this Summer to get out and see some of the best Missouri Show Caves! Learn more about National Caves and Karst Day below.
What is a Karst?Most caves form in karst, a type of landscape made of limestone, dolomite, and gypsum rocks that slowly dissolve in the presence of water. Its landscapes feature caves, underground streams, and sinkholes on the surface. Caves are typically found on cliffs or hillsides but can also form in lava and glaciers.
Why are Caves and Karst Important?
- They create diverse landscape and many caves around the world contain springs and productive groundwater. For example, Ha Ha Tonka at the Lake of the Ozarks contains Missouri's 12th largest spring where an average of 58 million gallons of water flows from the Spring every day.
- Caves and karts provide invaluable recourses for scientific research. In fact, caves can contain bacteria used for cancer cures and antibiotics, historical weather data from hundreds and thousands of years ago, astronaut training for possible utilization of caves on Mar, and discovery of species that only exist in caves.
- 20% of the land in the U.S. is karst, and 40% of the groundwater used for drinking comes from karst.
Why Should People Visit Caves?
- To see things they’ve never seen before. No two caves are alike. Sights on a cave tour include formations, millions of years in the making, such as stalagmites, stalactites, aragonite crystals, flowstone and cave bacon. There are also many caves with water features, such as underground rivers, pristine lakes, and raging waterfalls
- To spend quality time with family. Some of the best family memories are made during summer vacations and staycations. Exploring caves with kids not only means quality time together, it can spark an interest in science and nature that will last a lifetime.
- Because cave tours are educational. Most guided tours teach guests about the history of that particular cave and the surrounding area, as well as its geology, the positive impacts of bats and the importance of cave conservation. There’s a lot more to learn about the scientific research that’s taking place in caves around the world.
- Because spending time in nature has many benefits. Multiple studies show that nature boosts our mental and physical well-being. Benefits, particularly when paired with exercise, include restored mental energy, better vision in children, improved concentration, sharper thinking, and creativity. Spending time in natural spaces has been linked to increased energy, improved cognition, reduced anger and stress, lower blood pressure and slower heart rates.
- Because caves are fun! (Include information about your cave.) Options for exploring and spending time in caverns are increasing each year. Visitors can: travel on underground rivers in electric tour boats, kayaks and by; watch live concerts, camp out and listen to the world’s largest musical instrument, spot sea lions, just to name a few.
Do You Want To Learn More about Caves?
If you are looking to learn more about caves or are interested in a fun way to teach your kids about science, caves, and karts, take a look at these resources!
- NationalGeographic.com has a wealth of information at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/surface-of-the-earth/caves.
- http://www.CavesLive.org, which is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and Prince William Network
- Fun cave facts for kids at http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/earth/caves.html.
- Geology of caves: https://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/usgsnps/cave/cave.html
Bridal Cave is a member of the National Caves Association and we believe that National Caves and Karst Day is such an important day for everyone learn more about caves and karst! One of the best ways to celebrate is to bring the whole family to the best cave at the Lake of the Ozarks, Bridal Cave! Learning and reading about the role caves and karst play in our natural ecosystem is a great way to educate yourself and your children about caves. BUT the best way to learn about caves and karts is to see a cave for yourself at our family attraction at the Lake of the Ozarks! Our knowledgeable tour guides will lead you and your family through room after room of incredible mineral deposits. Giant columns, delicate soda straws, and massive draperies abound throughout the cave. Come celebrate with your friends underground on June 6th for National Caves and Karst Day!
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020