The Earth's large, deep calcareous caves are virtually inaccessible and therefore barely explored - requiring expert diving where flooded. Some of its wildlife is as strange and specific as...
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The Earth's large, deep calcareous caves are virtually inaccessible and therefore barely explored - requiring expert diving where flooded. Some of its wildlife is as strange and specific as in the deep, darkest part of the ocean, whether physically adapted -notably to the dark. Nevertheless, some caves(did) play an important part in native cultures, even as sources of fresh water for some Mayan cities.Written by
Planet Earth Theme
Written by George Fenton
Performed by BBC Concert Orchestra See more »
You'll Go Bats Over This Episode
While much of this episode features bats and other creatures in dark caves, we also get a good look another kind: the underground caves that are filled with water, caves that have intricate passageways for miles and look very much oceans with the normal fish and plant life you'd see there. At least you see: in above-ground caves, it's dark; always dark.
What struck me most are three million bats all coming out of one gigantic cave each morning, and then predatory birds trying to capture and eat them. It's a viscous world where no creature is safe! To see the bats fly in such numbers is awesome and to see them for "doughnuts" to avoid capture also is very interesting.
According to narrator David Attenborough, "caves are the least explored places on earth. They are places where you will find the strangest and least-known animals on the planet." For starters, we see the glowworm of New Zealand, and it what it does to trap insects for food. It's amazing, and beautiful (glowing long strands handing from cave walls).
We learn about bat guano (yeech) and the valuable bats' nests, which help make "Bird's Nest Soup." The underground watery caves are magnificent have incredible creatures in it. Check out the flood caves/wells in Yuccatan! Finally, we head over to the United States where some explorers discovered only 20 years ago (1986) the most beautiful cave in the world, with crystal structures that have to be seen to be believed. Where is it? Well, you'll have to turn on this episode. It's well worth the discover.
Oh, those three million bats mentioned earlier? Those are from Deer Cave In Borneo, in case your visiting the area! Also at Deer Cave, you'll discover the world's longest underground river.
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