Crystal Cave, Bermuda

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A view of inside Crystal Cave from the floating pontoon pathway

Crystal Cave is the most famous of Bermuda's many subterranean caverns. It is located in Hamilton Parish, close to Castle Harbour. The cave is approximately 500 m long, and 62 m deep.[1] Lower 19 - 20 m are below water level. The cave formed at lower sea level and, as the sea level rose, many speleothems, which formed in air, now are under water level.

A tourist attraction since 1907, it was discovered in 1905 by Carl Gibbons and Edgar Hollis, two 12 year-old boys searching for a lost cricket ball.[2][3] Soon after, the Wilkinson family (the owners of the property since 1884) learned of the discovery, Mr. Percy Wilkinson lowered his 14 year-old son Bernard into it with a bicycle lamp on 140 feet of strong rope tied to a tree to explore the cave.

The area surrounding Harrington Sound (which lies to the south of Crystal Cave) is of limestone formation and noted for many subterranean waterways, through which the waters of the sound empty into the Atlantic. Crystal Cave is one of these, and - as its name suggests - is one of the most spectacularly beautiful, with many stalactites, stalagmites, and deep crystal-clear pools. However, some crystal formations have been damaged by earthquakes in the far past.

An excursion to Crystal Cave also includes the neighbouring Fantasy Cave with Fantasy being deeper (88 steps down). Fantasy Cave was reopened in the summer of 2001 with all the pathways rebuilt and re-illuminated by artificial lighting. It was discovered and opened about the same time as Crystal Cave, but was closed by the owners in the 1940s.[4]

The two caves located on 8 Crystal Caves Rd. at Wilkinson Ave. are accessible by bus running between Hamilton and St. George's Parishes, taxi and other private forms of transportation (including motorbike and bicycle). Outside the two caves is a sub-tropical garden lined with palm trees where one will find many species of trees and flowers.

The caves are owned by the local Wilkinson Trust, and are open to the public.

Gallery[edit]

Crystal Cave

Fantasy Cave

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Crystal Cave, Bermuda". Wondermondo. Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  2. ^ Howard, Blair (2004). Adventure Guide Bermuda (Adventure Guides Series). Edison, N.J: Hunter. pp. p115. ISBN 1-58843-392-7. 
  3. ^ "Caves of Wonder in Bermuda: Crystal and Fantasy Caves - Travel - Excite UK". Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  4. ^ "Crystal Caves Bermuda". Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 

Coordinates: 32°20′31″N 64°43′41″W / 32.34194°N 64.72806°W / 32.34194; -64.72806