Mystery Cave

2018 West, Minnesota, Road Trip

Eighty years ago a local farmer, Joe Petty, noticed a place in his fields where there was no snow. Investigation lead him to an entrance to a limestone cave. He continued to explore and within a year was offering tours of the cave to travelers. Eventually the cave was acquired in 1988 by the State of Minnesota and paved paths and upgraded lighting was installed. Today we joined a group tour led by a naturalist who did a great job of interpreting the geology and natural history of Mystery Cave which was once part of an ancient sea as evidenced by the fossil of a prehistoric cephalopod. It was good we remembered to bring jackets, it’s a consistent 48°F underground! As we peered into the Turquoise Lake we were 135 feet below the surface. We only got a little taste of the thirteen mapped miles of passageways in this half million year old cavern where the darkness is truly completely dark as we saw when our guide turned off the lights!

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