Amateur scientists have discovered an unknown massive cave filled with crystals in California's Sequoia National Park. The spelunkers from the Cave Research Foundation found the cavern last month. It's been named Ursa Minor (Latin for "small bear") in honor of the skeleton of what appears to be an ancient bear found in the cave. From National Geographic:
Only a small portion of the cavern has been explored so far. But researchers say they have already found several large chambers with a variety of formations, including thin curtains of minerals several feet tall, slender "soda straws" up to six feet (two meters) long, and sheets of glimmering crystals on the cave's floors and walls...
"There are things in the cave that could really open windows into our knowledge of geologic history and the formation of caves throughout the West," park cave manager Joel Despain told the Associated Press.
UPDATE: BB reader Steven Johnson (no, not that one), writes:
Serious cavers do NOT refer to themselves as "spelunkers" (at least, not in the United States). Among serious cavers, "spelunker" has come to mean "person who goes underground without the proper equipment or training". At caving conventions you'll see bumper stickers that read "Cavers Rescue Spelunkers." Link
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