Unveiling the Secrets of Earth Science for Young Explorers: 3 Interesting Facts about Caves to Share with Your Kids
Caves are a fascinating phenomenon that attracts the interest of people of all ages, especially children. The mystery and magical nature of caves are what make them such a captivating topic.
Children soak up information, especially during their very youthful years and the adventurous spirit of a child can only be satisfied with loads of conversations around the topic. It is important to encourage this curiosity about earth science in young explorers and offer them great sources of information, like they do at the Advantage Early Learning Academy in Gahanna Ohio, which incorporates all kinds of learning about exciting topics for children. This keeps children engaged and informed about the natural wonders of the world, like caves.
If you are looking for some interesting knowledge that you can share with your children about caves, then be sure to continue reading so that you can impress them with 3 clever facts.
Water is What Creates Most Caves
That one is sure to blow the minds of young explorers. They will certainly be asking themselves how a liquid can carve out an entire cave. However, that’s exactly the secret and what happens.
It is water that seeps through the most minute pores of a rock. Through the pressure and never-ending penetration of the water molecules, larger holes start to form. After thousands or even millions of years of this pressure, caves are the result. How this works is that water creates little tiny holes all over the rock and these holes start to get bigger and bigger eventually creating a hole-like shape that turns into what we would call a cave. This is why many caves are found in rock formations where water is found too.
Take this into practice, if you have a beach close by, then go for a walk along the ocean or take a drive and observe the rocks that get hit by water, and you will see the indentation of the water leaving its mark, inevitably forming a hollow shape.
Naturally, other types of caves are simply natural hole formations in the earth and are formed by lava or even ice caves. It’s not just water that creates caves but it is the most common element.
Stalagmites and Stalactites are Exciting Formations in a Cave
When you visit a cave, you will often see long stick-like formations coming out the floor of the cave or hanging off the ceiling of the roof of the cave. You can teach young explorers a little trick to remember which is this: Stalagmites have a ‘g’ in the word, which they can remember stands for ‘ground’ and therefore they are the ones that come from the bottom of the cave. Whereas stalactites have the letter ‘t’ in them which stands for ‘top’ and are therefore the ones that come from the top of the ceiling.
How stalagmites and stalactites are formed is rather scientific – water essentially seeps through the limestone rock, dissolves some of the rock through this process and then calcifies (as calcium carbonate) to create the icicle or stick-like shapes that are breath-taking around limestone caves.
Caves are Rich in Culture and History
Caves tell stories. Many caves were inhabited by ancestors and used as a place of refuge and as their homes. They would use this safe space in a rock to get out of the wind, cold and stay safe from wild animals. This is known because many of these ancestors would leave drawings or paintings lining the sides of the rock face. This was intended for future generations to see and learn about their history from these drawings. They would draw images of especially dangerous animals, or share the history of how they came to find themselves in the specific rock shape. It was a form of communication centuries ago and an excellent one at that.