By now, you’re surely aware of the plethora of livestreaming and virtual options available on the internet. There’s the Metropolitan Opera, a virtual museum visit, a walk down the Great Wall of China, and much more. But, we want to add one more to the list because not only is it super cool, but it will also make you feel like you’re getting out in nature too.
The National Parks Service (NPS) has long offered virtual experiences of some of its greatest parks to help people the world over to come and explore digitally. And one of its neatest explorations is its virtual visit to the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.
“High ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus, and desert wildlife — treasures above the ground in the Chihuahuan Desert,” NPS wrote about the park. “Hidden beneath the surface are more than 119 caves — formed when sulfuric acid dissolved limestone leaving behind caverns of all sizes.”
The service further explained, the park has a particularly storied history as it’s a place where plenty of human activity has taken place from prehistoric people to historic American Indians. It added, “…Cavern accessibility development and tourism have left reminders of their presence, and have contributed to the rich and diverse history of the area.”
For in-person visitors, the park has two historic districts, both of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: The Cavern Historic District and the Rattlesnake Springs Historic District. Guests can also learn more about the rich history of the area at its museum, where they can also search the park archives, which NPS explained, contains approximately “one million cultural resource artifacts that are being preserved and protected.”
But, again, you don’t have to physically go to feel like you’re there. Just hop on the virtual tour with a park ranger, who starts the tour by explaining the cave swallows flying around during the day will soon be replaced by “hundreds of Brazilian free-tailed bats.”
As you move through the experience, you can choose to see the caves as if you too were one of those flying bats, and learn a bit about echolocation along the way.
From there, virtual visitors will move into The Big Room, a cave structure larger than six football fields, making it the “largest single cave chamber in North America.”
And the tour doesn’t stop there. But, we’ll let you click over and discover all the hidden caverns and treasures for yourself.