The scientific tourist #17 — King's Palace

This week’s picture comes from Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico — it’s of one of the many interesting formations in a branch of the caverns called “Kings Palace:”

King's Palace

Should you ever find yourself in southern New Mexico, and in a geological sort of mood, I really have to recommend that you take the hike down into the caverns. King’s Palace is part of a Ranger-guided tour, so you’ll want to make a reservation. Still, our ranger was a wealth of information, as well as good-humored — well worth the extra money and bit of time. This particular tour takes about 1-1/2 hours, and involves a bit of hiking, but nothing terribly strenuous.

Along the tour, you’ll also get to see for yourself what black really looks like — when the ranger turns off the trail lights for a few minutes (and mind you, you’re nearly 1,000 feet below the surface).

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