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A cave or cavern is a hollow place in the ground,<ref>Whitney, W. D. (1889). "Cave, n.1." def. 1. The Century dictionary: An encyclopedic lexicon of the English language (Vol. 1, p. 871). New York: The Century Co.</ref><ref>"Cave" Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press 2009</ref> especially a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. Caves form naturally by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word cave can also refer to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos.

Speleology is the science of exploration and study of all aspects of caves and the cave environment. Visiting or exploring caves for recreation may be called caving, potholing, or spelunking.


Cave sections
Intro  Types and formation  Physical patterns  Geographic distribution  Records and superlatives  Ecology  Archaeological and cultural importance  See also  References  

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A cave or cavern is a hollow place in the ground,<ref>Whitney, W. D. (1889). "Cave, n.1." def. 1. The Century dictionary: An encyclopedic lexicon of the English language (Vol. 1, p. 871). New York: The Century Co.</ref><ref>"Cave" Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press 2009</ref> especially a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. Caves form naturally by the weathering of rock and often extend deep underground. The word cave can also refer to much smaller openings such as sea caves, rock shelters, and grottos.

Speleology is the science of exploration and study of all aspects of caves and the cave environment. Visiting or exploring caves for recreation may be called caving, potholing, or spelunking.


Cave sections
Intro  Types and formation  Physical patterns  Geographic distribution  Records and superlatives  Ecology  Archaeological and cultural importance  See also  References  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Types and formation
<<>>