Ranger to Present Program on the Acid Caves of Mexico

Ranger Jim Pisarowicz, who first explored and documented Mexico's Cave of the Lighted House in 1986.
Ranger Jim Pisarowicz.

NPS Photo

January 13, 2006

Tom Farrell, 605-745-4600

Ranger Jim Pisarowicz will present a program at the Hot Springs Mueller Center featuring Mexico’s Cueva de Villa Luz (“Cave of the Lighted House”) on Thursday, January 26. The program, Rocks that Melt: The Acid Caves in Mexico, begins at 7 p.m. During the program, Dr. Pisarowicz will show a Japanese Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) hour-long science documentary about the cave which contains extremophiles, microbes living in extreme environments.

This cave was first explored and documented by Dr. Pisarowicz during a 1986 expedition to Mexico. Inside the cave, they found a dangerous world filled with hydrogen sulfide gas, dripping acid with negative pH numbers, and a formation he named “snottites” because of their mucus-like resemblance to stalactites. Later testing revealed potentially lethal levels of hydrogen sulfide gas in the area they explored.

It was years before Pisarowicz convinced scientists to visit the cave. Further studies lead one publication to name snottites as the most radical science discovery for the year 1999. Scientists are just now realizing the potential medical benefits from these sulfur-eating bacteria.

This free program is being sponsored by Hot Springs Library and Friends of the Library. Call 605/745-4600 for more information.

Last updated: July 31, 2017

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