Inner Space Cavern
The Inner Space Cavern, also known as Laubach Cave, is a karst cave that can be found in Georgetown, Texas. Laubach Cave is another name for this cave. The passage of water through the Edwards limestone was what ultimately resulted in the development of the cavern. However, the entrance to the cavern was not open to the surface until the late Pleistocene epoch, which happened between 14,000 and 45,000 years ago. Before that time, it was only accessible from below. The age of the cavern has been estimated to be somewhere between 20 and 25 million years.
The limestone and dolomite rocks of the Edwards Group, which were formed during the Cretaceous period, are the rocks that are likely to be found in the area where Inner Space Cavern is located.
Following the formation of the Balcones Fault, a number of cracks running in a vertical direction were observed inside the Edwards Formations. As a result of these fissures, ground water was able to readily move through the limestone, which was the first step in the process that eventually led to the construction of the cavern. Carbon dioxide (CO2) was taken in from the atmosphere and from the decomposition of organic materials as surface water traveled deeper into the subsoil. As a result of this process, carbonic acid (H2CO3) was produced. This acid would then react with the limestone rocks and dissolve them, which would result in the formation of voids. After the passage of millions of years, these spaces became larger, eventually leaving behind enormous rooms and corridors.
Several sinkholes that had been filled in have been discovered, one of which was the cave’s original entrance. There were several large openings to the caverns during the Ice Age, and evidence of several skeletons of prehistoric Ice-Age animals including a baby mammoth, giant sloth, and the saber-toothed tiger have been found in the cavern; many were trapped in the cavern after they fell through the opening, unable to escape Around 14,000 years ago, any natural entrances that might have existed were blocked up.
The Cave Was Just Recently Discovered
In the spring of 1963, a group of core drillers working for the Texas Highway Department made the discovery of Inner Space cavern. It was established whether or not the earth was stable enough to support a significant highway bridge by extracting core samples with a diameter of six inches. During the course of drilling on one of the test holes, the drill bit suddenly and abruptly fell 26 feet, which gave the highway crew reason to believe that there was something other than rock below them.
“The bit ultimately succeeded in breaking through forty feet of solid limestone, which is now known as Inner Space Cavern,”
The news traveled quite quickly
The astounding discovery immediately made its way across the world, and in a matter of a few short months, the Texas Speleological Society had succeeded in obtaining authorization to enter and study the depths of the cave that had just been discovered. Cave explorers ventured inside for the first time on a brisk November morning in 1963, marking the beginning of their exploration of the cave. After positioning a wooden tripod on top of the core hole, each individual was then lowered down the narrow shaft on a rope that was connected to a truck. This process was repeated several times.
More than 7,000 linear feet of cave were plotted out over the course of the subsequent few days. The passageways varied greatly in size, from severely claustrophobic crawl areas to huge cathedral-like halls and hallways. With the exception of a few tight corridors and the sticky mud that was present throughout the duration of the cave, the cavern was not particularly challenging to navigate for the most part.
Since the entrance to Inner Space was opened up to the general public in the summer of 1966, tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of individuals have taken advantage of the opportunity to tour this spectacular cave.
Time as a Tourist Attraction
1966 was the year that the cavern was opened up to the general public for the very first time.
The general public has access to over 2,000 feet of passageway, and there are three separate types of excursions available, ranging from an easy strolling guided tour all the way up to an advanced wild cave spelunking tour. However, regions that are not accessible to the general public are tightly guarded, and illegal exploration is not only discouraged but also punishable by law. The Inner Cathedral Room contains a vertical borehole, which serves not only as an emergency entryway/exit but also as a means by which the cavern can be aired. This passageway can be located in the same room as the Cathedral Altar. The use of dynamite blasts was necessary in order to create the major entrance to the cavern.
Next Point of Interest: Lake Georgetown