5 Facts on Jewel Cave

5 Facts on Jewel Cave
Brothers Albert and Frank Michaud discovered cold air coming from a hole in the ground near South Dakota's Black Hills in 1900, some 13 miles west of the city of Custer. They could not have imagined they had found what would turn out to be the second-longest system of caves in the world.
 

Significance

The brothers dynamited the opening to enlarge it and found the cave filled with calcite crystals that resembled sparkling jewels, hence the name the two bestowed on their find.

 
 

History

On Feb. 7, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the cave a national monument, one the National Park Service took over in 1933. The cave underwent further exploration over the years with people discovering miles of new passages.

Size

The known length of Jewel Cave constantly changes as teams of cavers continue to explore it. In October of 2009, cavers found 850 more feet of passages, bringing the total length to 146.81 miles.

Temperature

The temperature in Jewel Cave is 49 degrees F year round.

Bats

While nine species of bats live in Jewel Cave, they rarely venture more than a quarter of a mile into the cave.

 

Article Written By John Lindell

John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.