Posted by: maboulette | June 5, 2020

Bizarre Beast Living in Romania’s Poison Cave

In the south-eastern part of Romania, close to the Black Sea and the Buglariannn border, there is a barren plain with no features.  This desolate field is totally unremarkable except for one thing.  Below it is a cave that has been isolated for 5.5 million years.   Since the time of the caveman, this cave was cut off from the rest of the planet.

CRAWLING WITH LIFE

In spite of a total absence of light as well as a poisonous atmosphere, this cave is crawling with life.  There are unique spiders, woodlice, scorpions, and centipedes – many very seen by humans and owning their lives to a strange floating mat of bacteria.

1986

Workers in communist Romania in 1986 were testing the ground trying to see if this was a suitable area for a power plant.  This is when the Movile Cave was discovered.  Romanian scientist Cristian Lascu was the first to make the descent into this dangerous cave.  Since then the cave has remained sealed by authorities.  Fewer than 100 people have been allowed inside the cave.

JOURNEY

This is mainly due to the journey into the cave is hazardous extremely.  To enter a person must first lower themselves by rope 20m down a narrow shaft dug into the ground.  The only is from a person’s helmet that bounces around the walls during the descend.  The person must then climb down through narrow limestone tunnels coated in an ochre clay, in pitch darkness with temperatures of 25-degree C.  These paths will eventually open out into a central cavern that also contains a lake.

2010

In 2010, microbiologist Rich Boden from the University of Warwick in Coventry, UK, became roughly the 29th person to see the cave.

“It’s pretty warm, and very humid so it feels warmer than it is, and of course with a boiler suit and helmet on that doesn’t help,” says Boden.

He is at the University of Plymouth in the UK.

Boden further stated, “The pool of warm, sulphidic water stinks of rotting eggs or burnt rubber when you disturb it as hydrogen sulphide is given off.”

ECOSYSTEM LIVES ON CHEMOSYNTHETIC BACTERIA

Further testing of the water in the lake’s showed there was no type of particles for food.  So, the large question became, what do these creatures live on?  Food comes from a foamy type film that sits on top of the lake’s water as well as the cave’s walls.  This film is like toilet paper and can even be torn like a piece of toilet paper.  This is filled with billions upon billions of bacteria “eutotrophs”.

GREENHOUSE GASSES

What is exciting is that the cave bacteria have the ability to oxidize methane and carbon dioxide both of which are important greenhouse gasses today.  It would be interested to find out if these bacteria could develop some type of technology able to break down two gasses in our atmosphere to levels that are more acceptable.

 

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