Scientists opened a cave that was isolated for five and a half million years. Scientists have been making amazing discoveries for centuries. Many people think that because our planet is so old there’s just not much left to be discovered.Well these people are wrong and the scientists agree with me there are discoveries being made all the time. and a perfect example of this is the “movile cave“.
The “movile cave“ was discovered back in 1986 and it’s located in southeastern Romania, not far from the coast of the Black Sea. The cave was discovered accidentally, a group of people were searching the area trying to find the perfect place to build a geothermal plant but they never expected to find a mysterious cave. What made this “movile cave“ even more mysterious is the fact that it had never been opened or entered in 5.5 million years. Immediately after this discovery the workers contacted scientific experts. When the cave was opened and they went inside to inspect. They found plenty of strange things about it. The fact that it had been hidden for five and a half million years that was strange enough but nothing compared to what they found while exploring. Many of the first scientists who went into the cave called it a world within a world some called it a chemical world within the organic world of humans.
The first thing the scientists noticed was the difference between the air inside the “movile cave“ and the air out in the world .The first thing they found was that the oxygen in the air is only a third of what it is outside in the cave, there was seven to ten percent oxygen compared to 21% in the air where we live. The air was also deadly, there was 2-3.5 percent carbon dioxide in the cave, compared to only .03 percent which is in the air that we breathe. The air was so dangerous that the people who were exploring the “movile cave“ can only stay down there for about five or six hours at a time any longer could have caused severe damage to their kidneys and other organs and also it could have caused death. When the scientists were ready to safely go into the cave they had to go into a very narrow shaft and next they came upon a tunnel that was coated with limestone. After walking for a bit in complete darkness that came upon a tunnel that led into a cavern,that opened up into a lake. The temperature throughout the entire cave was 77 degrees.
While the “movile cave“ itself and the air was amazing, it was the ecosystem that the scientists found to be stunning. While exploring the “movile cave“ they discovered 48 species including water scorpions,leeches, spiders and a variety of other insects. For the Explorers discovering 48 species that had been locked up for five-and-a-half million years that was an incredible finding.In 2010 a microbiologist named rich Bowden who at the time was at the University of Warwick in Coventry UK was allowed to see the “movile cave“. He was only the 29th person to do so. Since the “movile cave“ was discovered 24 years earlier it was pretty amazing that he was only the 29th person to explore it. When he spoke about the caves to BBC he said it’s pretty warm and very humid so it feels warmer than it is. He also mentioned that he was wearing a boiler suit and helmet for protection which may have made it feel warmer than it actually was. He also mentioned the pools of warm water that smelled like rotten eggs or burnt rubber, he added that if you disturb the water the smell is even worse. Today Bowden is at the University of Plymouth in the UK and he’s still writing about his findings occasionally. The story’s pretty amazing, many people believe that because the earth is so old that everything has already been discovered but that is of course far from the truth. People are making discoveries every day some may not be as amazing as this one but we’re always learning more about the world that we live in. Thanks to some amazing discoveries and some of those discoveries are found accidentally.
A Two woodlice (Armadillium sp.), which lack skin pigment (Credit: Patrick Landmann/SPL)
A waterscorpion (Nepa sp.) from Movile (Credit: Thierry Berrod, Mona Lisa Production/SPL)
An unidentified leech from Movile Cave (Credit: Thierry Berrod, Mona Lisa Production/SPL)