Frail Loops Cave - April Fools 2021

For approximately the last year I have been working with a small team of cavers to document and map a new cave find in Tennessee. Despite only having mapped six miles of cave passage, we have found that the cave is absurdly enormous in terms of volume. The geology and formations of the cave are so massive as to be confusing. Not to be overdramatic, but the mechanisms of it's development call into question much of what we understand about cave development in general. In other words, this one is a game changer.

Among its many discoveries is a river system on par with that of the Cumberland River. A breakdown crawl at the entrance, followed by a nearly vertical scramble on breakdown of about 180' brings you to the gigantic river passage. The mostly phreatic borehole here runs for most of the mapped length of the cave as a network of braided passage varying in height between 20' - 140' in some places.

Familiar, but bizarrely huge formations peak down on us from galleries set high along the side walls of the braided river. Scallops and karren give evidence of super-floods in times prehistoric where the cave was entirely underwater. In places the remains of huge trees hang from the ceiling over 100' above us.

While we aren't quite ready to submit the cave to our state survey, it won't be that long before cavers from around the world can begin to expand on our study of this monster of a cave.

Photoshopped                                                                   Original
Frail Loop Cave Luke Hornby, Capshaw Cave, Putnam County, Tennessee 5
Frail Loop Cave Evan Hart, Capshaw Cave, Putnam County, Tennessee 2
Frail Loop Cave Kelli Lewis, GD30 6
Frail Loop Cave Leanne Lipps, Johnson Hole, White County, Tennessee 2
Frail Loop Cave Kelli Lewis, Signal Light Pit, Marion County, Tennessee
Frail Loop Cave Annabelle Dempsey, Capshaw Cave, Putnam County, Tennessee 2

Frail loops is an anagram for APRIL FOOL'S.


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