Have you ever explored a cave? Caves are dark and interesting. You might imagine animals or people that have been in the cave before you. But have you ever wondered how a cave is made? Caves are usually made when water runs over soft rock, such as limestone.
The acid in the water slowly eats away the limestone, making a hole. The hole gets larger and larger. If the water finds a new path, the cave is left dry.
Caves can also be created when hot lava melts rocks, forming holes. Occasionally, the ceiling of a cave collapses, leaving a huge room or cavern. Tidal waters along a coast can carve out caves.
Fun Facts About Caves for Kids
- Dripping water contains lime, or calcium bicarbonate. Over hundreds of years, the lime builds up and hardens, becoming stalactites.
- Sometimes stalagmites grow up from the floor of a cave. In all cases, these sculptures are caused by mineral deposits that have hardened.
- Speleology is the study of caves. Would you like to be a speleologist?
- Caves provide shelter for many animals, such as bats, insects and hibernating mammals.
- Caves also provide shelter for humans.
- A cave is also called a cavern.
- Exploring caves is called caving, potholing, or spelunking.
- Limestone: soft, sedimentary rock
- Acid: a strong substance that can dissolve other materials
- Tidal water: Waters coming in from the ocean
- Collapse: fall or crumble
- Speleologist: someone who studies caves
All About Caves Video for Kids
Here’s a great video for kids on Caves:
Question: Are caves dangerous?
Answer: Caves can be dangerous because they can collapse and it’s hard to breathe in them. Because they’re dark and twisted, it’s easy to become lost. Never explore a cave without an adult.