karst mountain elephant cave

karst mountain elephant cave

another stopover, albeit a quick one, on our way to sabang was the karst mountain elephant cave. i don’t really know the significance of this area in terms of tourism or geology or whatever but i’m guessing it has something to do with that limestone formation in the background.

karst mountain elephant cave

but, of course.

i may be pretty dense sometimes but common sense told me that while the rice farm added a pretty nice touch to the already picturesque view, everything had something to do with that huge rock over there. for the life of me, i couldn’t figure out why they called it elephant cave, though. i didn’t even bother to ask the guide because the question never really crossed my mind.

but as to why it bears the name “karst mountain,” here’s something that came up in my little research:

Karst topography is a geological formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite, but has also been documented for weathering resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions.

Karst landforms are generally the result of mildly acidic water acting on weakly soluble bedrock such as limestone or dolostone. The mildly acidic water begins to dissolve the surface along fractures or bedding planes in the limestone bedrock. Over time, these fractures enlarge as the bedrock continues to dissolve. Openings in the rock increase in size, and an underground drainage system begins to develop, allowing more water to pass through the area, and accelerating the formation of underground karst features.

nevermind that i understand only half of what i just read.

karst mountain elephant cave

wouldn’t it be nice to spend an early morning here communing with nature? i thought about that while looking at those idyllic nipa huts and bamboo bridge over there. i could just imagine the coolness of the breeze, the warmth of my tea, and the peacefulness of the world around me.

yeah, i know, i can get so emo.

karst mountain elephant cave

the coolest fact i learned during this particular trip?

that this, as well as most of the other limestone formations around puerto princesa, are actually between 20 and 30 million years old.

it blew me away too. i mean, i can barely grasp what a million years feel like, let alone multiply that by 20 or 30. the whole idea sounds so, uh, jurassic.

karst mountain elephant cave

but then again, those numbers don’t even hold a candle to the rock formations found in el nido. if i so much as dwell on the major fact that the cliff i dared to climb over there last year was about 250 years old, my brain would just about seize at the surreality of it all. i’m not even exaggerating.

oh, and one way to tell ancient limestone formations from “young” ones? the color. white for the latter and black/gray for the former.

now you know. =)

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