A Brief History
On September 9, 1972, an exploration team mapping the Mammoth Cave system in Kentucky discovered that the Mammoth Cave system was linked to the Flint Ridge cave network, making it the longest cave passageway in the world.
Upon the discovery by the Cave Research Foundation team, the entire cave system is now known as the Mammoth–Flint Ridge Cave System. In fact, the Flint Ridge portion is even longer than the part previously just called Mammoth Cave.
A 52,830-acre National Park since 1941, the caves boast over 426 miles of surveyed passages, one and a half times the length of the number two cave system, Mexico’s Sac Actun, an underwater cave system. About a half-million tourists visit the Mammoth Cave National Park each year, including us at History and Headlines!
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For more information, please see…
O’Connor, Colleen, and Charles Hanion. Scary Stories of Mammoth Cave. Cave Books, 2009.
Olson, Colleen. Mammoth Cave Curiosities: A Guide to Rockphobia, Dating, Saber-toothed Cats, and Other Subterranean Marvels. The University Press of Kentucky, 2017.
The featured image in this article, a map of the extent of the Mammoth Cave System in 2021, is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code.
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