A recent expedition to the Gunung Mulu cave system in Malaysia saw some incredible features while in what is argued to be the largest or most open cave system in the world with hundreds of miles of underground fun. National Geographic sent some photographers along with other explorers to document the magnificent cave. They came across several impressive limestone formations, stalactites, ancient hieroglyphics and a burial ground. Along with all this, scientists found living prehistoric bacteria in some of the stalactites.
In the cave, pale limestone features can be found in the strangest of formations. These formations stick out of the cave floor and look like teeth. These features form because of the environment which the cave is located. The high carbon dioxide levels with high rain levels causes acidic water to flow through the cave carving out its many tunnels and unique features. Along with these rock features, explorers came across an ancient burial ground with pottery a top of wooden pedestals. The burial ground is an untouched site which experts think is anywhere between 500-5000 years old.
Most of the cave exploring of the Ganung Mulu cave system has been going on since 1978. This expedition in particular focused on collecting samples and specimens found in the cave system. They scientists collected rainwater samples containing prehistoric bacteria which was living. This water was collected as it dripped down from overhanging stalactites in the cave. The scientists say the bacteria is like something out of Jurassic Park.
Its incredible how these caves form and the amount of time it takes for them to form to what we see today. This system in particular is thought to be close to 70,000 years old. I had the pleasure of going cave dwelling last year near Pilot Mountain in North Carolina and I had so much fun exploring the caves many features. I wonder, in a large cave system like Gunung Mulu, how people used it as a home as seen from the burial ground found in the cave? I know it was an easy way to shelter yourself, but don’t exactly associate a cave with the home sweet home feel. Anyways, I hope that one day I am able to go explore some place which nobody has ever been to before.