Hoff's Aliner Travels
A Travel Blog for US and Canadian Parks with Geological Notes
Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave is the longest cave in the world with 420 miles of passages. This is nearly twice as long as the second-longest cave system, Mexico’s Sac Actun underwater cave. The park is large at 52,830 acres and sink holes are common.

Although the cave system is 7 miles by 7 miles it is only about 400 feet deep, thus resembling a thin pancake. Other caves in the world are much deeper with the deepest cave being over a mile deep.

Most of Mammoth Cave is dry and lacking the cave features common in other caves such as stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, etc. However, the large upper cave tunnels go for long stretches even though they last saw flowing water more than 3 million years ago.

People have used the cave for tourism, saltpeter (war of 1812) and other minerals, and sometimes for burial (ancient indians.) One native american was found crushed by a rock and was exhibited at Mammoth Cave for years. Later sensibilities allowed the remains to be buried in a secret location in the cave.

Geology of Mammoth Cave


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