Thursday, November 29, 2012

L is for... Luray Caverns

About a month ago, we visited Luray Caverns in Virginia.  It was just a fun trip with my parents, but of course it was educational too!

The pictures I took don't really do it justice.  I've tried to keep these in the order that we saw the formations on our tour, but I don't remember the names of all the formations.

Near the beginning of the tour, we began to see formations like this, which have been named The Totem Poles. 

This formation has been nicknamed The Fish Market.  

This is Dream Lake, the largest body of water in the caves.  At its deepest point, it is about 18 to 20 inches.  It gives a remarkably clear reflection of the stalactites above it, almost like a mirror.

At various places in the tour, you can see this white column known as Pluto's Ghost.  It is named for the mythical god of the underworld.

These hanging formations were found in several places.  I thought they looked like giant strips of bacon, but maybe that's just me...

This is a column that has fallen down.  There are some people on the other side of it, which gives some sense of how big it is!

One of the most fascinating features of Luray is the Stalacpipe Organ, which was invented by a mathmetician and electronics scientist named Leland Sprinkle.  Mr Sprinkle was inspired to create this instrument after visiting the caverns and hearing the organ-like sounds of stalactites being tapped.  He spent 36 years on research, design, and experimentation before coming up with this unique instrument. 

This is one of the rubber-tipped mallets that strike a stalactite to produce a specific tone.  To the best of my memory, this particular one was B-flat.

One of the last features on the tour is this wishing pool that looks like something from a fantasy novel.

We really enjoyed our tour of the caverns, as we marveled at these wonders that God created underground.  I was terribly annoyed with all the references thrown in to the millions or billions of years that evolutionists claim it took for all this to form.  As far as I know, the tour guides are not scientists themselves - ours was a young lady perhaps in her early 20s at most - and are just reciting the info they've memorized, so there didn't seem much point in challenging her. I do wish that I'd planned ahead and had better information regarding the creationist view of cave formation.  My guess was that most of the cave systems would have formed during the huge geological upheaval during the worldwide flood of Noah's day (Genesis 7-8).  While geologists can observe the rate of formation of stalagmites and stalactites today, they cannot observe the rate of formation in the past and therefore the assumption that the rate has always been constant is just that - an assumption.  A search I did at Answers in Genesis provided the following articles outlining just how caves and the formations in them could have been formed in a short period of time during a worldwide flood:

How Long Does it Take Caves to Form? (a Kids Answers article)
Cave Formation (a layman level article from the Wonders of Geology brochure series)
Rapid Cave Formation by Sulfuric Acid Dissolution (a technical level article by Michael Oard)

I recommend taking a look at the first two links if you're at all curious about cave formations, or if you're planning a sightseeing trip to Mammoth Cave, Carlsbad Caverns, Luray Caverns, or any of the others.  Mammoth Cave and Carlsbad Caverns are still on my sightseeing bucket list!

Have you explored these caves or others? What did you think?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Please visit Ben and Me: L is for Lavaca to join in and to see what thoughts this week's letter has prompted for other bloggers.  This week the letter L is being guest-hosted by Kelli at Adventurez in Child Rearing.
Blogging Through the Alphabet
To find out more about the Blogging through the Alphabet link-up, and how to participate, visit Ben and Me: Blogging Through The Alphabet


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