Climbing over a waterfall in the caves
Cave systems have fascinated human civilization since the “cave-man” era.
Caves are chambers formed by water and carbon dioxide reacting with the different natural minerals such as limestone. Drop by drop, water will create a network of underground passages, at times, large enough to hold buildings. The cave formation process takes thousands of years.
Belize's cave systems are some of the most extensive in Central America. They have great social and economic value, and are doors to unlocking the history of the ancient Maya. Caves form a critical part of our forest, provide shelter for wild animals and home to exotic species of plants, bats, other invertebrates and micro-organisms. Rivers and streams do run through some cave systems, which cave living organisms rely on for food and shelter brought between debris. These underground ecosystems help to decompose organic matter and recycle nutrients.
A cave entrance is an amazing opening into another dimension of nature. Caves create aquatic, sediment banks and terrestrial habitats.
Photograph courtesy Caves Branch
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