• The Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave

    Mammoth Cave

    National Park Kentucky

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  • Alert - Mammoth Cave is in an area highly endemic to histoplasmosis

    Histoplasmosis is a serious infection caused by breathing in spores of a fungus often found in bird and bat droppings. Infants and immunocompromised persons are especially vulnerable. Click the link for more information. More »

Natural Features & Ecosystems

Nature and Science

The interface between the sunlit and nether worlds

Mammoth Cave, by far the world's longest known cave system, is the heart of the South-Central Kentucky karst, an integrated set of subterranean drainage basins covering more than 1,050 square kilometers – 400 square miles. Atop this labyrinth is a biologically diverse set of ecosystems inextricably interlinked with the ecosystems underground. This physiographic province, with Mammoth Cave National Park at its core, was declared an International Biosphere Reserve in 1990.

Did You Know?

Soda straw stalactite

Stalactites grow downward – they hang "tight" to the ceiling – while stalagmites grow upward – they "might" reach the ceiling someday. Mammoth Cave's formations include many types of calcite formations.