There are many natural wonders throughout the world, and one of these is the marble caves in Chile. These caves are fascinating to both researchers and tourists because of the amazing formations and scenery that they provide. But while many people do appreciate the beauty of the caves, most do not know a lot about them. These amazing structures do not get enough attention for how interesting they are. For the curious, read on to learn more about these fascinating caves.
10 Different Structures
When looking at the cave, many people primarily admire the beauty of the caves. But what is also interesting about caves is the amount of structures they have. The marble caves in Chile have three different types of structures, which are the cave, the cathedral, and the chapel. These different structures are all fascinating, but also look very different from each other. Visitors can easily tell which structures are which by looking.
These amazing works of nature are situated in unique spots in the fifth largest lake in the beautiful South America, named General Carrera Lake. The caves are on a peninsula of marble on the border of the lake, and is like a natural void filled with just marble. The naturally sculpted caves are made completely of marble and are believed to have been formed by the water of the lake. Visitors must also keep in mind that the lake is shared with Argentina, but to actually visit the caves they must be in Chile because that is the side the caves are located on.
8 Getting To The Cave
With the caves being so unique, of course they would have a unique way of approaching them. The caves can only be approached by boat, which have to be extremely small to make their way through the caves. These boats can be used from a small, remote town called Puerto Rio Tranquilo to visit the caves. Visitors say the best time to visit is between November and February because the melting ice will make the water an enchanting turquoise color.
One of the most amazing things about the marble caves is the ability it has to change colors. These feats of nature have the ability to change color depending on how high or low the water is because the colors of the marble reflect from the water. Since the glaciers do not melt until the months of November through February, the water is not as high and that makes the colors a lot less vibrant. For visitors that go in the spring, they will notice more softer or navy blues, compared to after the glaciers melt and the colors range from cobalt blue to white to pink.
6 What They Are Made Of
While these caves are called the marble caves, they are actually made up of 95% calcium carbonate. The caves are a mineral formation that were eroded by water long ago to form them. The ocean waves lapping at the calcium carbonate over a course of 6,000 years is what made these beautiful structures look how they do. These giant pieces of nature are also estimated to weigh around 5.5 billion tons.
5 Species Near Them
Since these formations are in a lake, there are several aquatic species surrounding them. These include several types of fish, such as trout and salmon, a lot of lush vegetation, plants, and other types of aquatic life. These species thrive because the environment around the lake tends to stay more sunny and warm, and the cooler waters allow the fish to thrive.
4 Different Sections
While visitors already know about different types of formations that are carved into the rock, there are also different sections of the caves. The Marble Chapel is the first of the three islets that visitors will see, and stands guard to the entrance of the cave. The other sections, including the Marble Cathedral, will soon follow as visitors continue their trek inwards. Visitors should be prepared to be amazed at the complexity and uniqueness of the different sections of the caves.
3 How It Formed
The lake was formed with several different elements working together, but the primary one was water. The waves slowly lapped at the calcium carbonate, which slowly eroded it away. The other elements that helped were wind and other forms of bad weather, which helped speed up the erosion process. This caused the many holes and amazing features visitors see in the caves today.
2 How They Will Be Destroyed
As awful as it is to think about, one day in the very far future these magnificent wonders will be gone from humanity. The worst part about it is that the very things that made the caves are the very things that will help destroy them. The water that the caves are surrounded by and was created by is the very thing slowly destroying them. The constant lapping of waves at the calcium carbonate is slowly eroding it away.
1 What Not To Do
While many visitors may be tempted, they must be sure not to take anything from the caves as they go. There are many parts of this natural wonder that are tempting for visitors to take, such as water or a piece of marble, but the only thing visitors should leave with are pictures and a sense of wonder at this incredible force of nature.