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Discover a subterranean world of wonder and experience Luray Caverns in virtual reality. You can also view it on YouTube with a VR headset. Be sure to use your headphones for the guided audio tour, and be sure to visit us in person for the full Luray Caverns experience.

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Get all 10 questions correct and you just might know too much.

Making Mountains

We’re in a global dance between shifting continents and tectonic plates.

Continental drift occurred 600 million years ago. The ancient sea flooded the area known as the Appalachians. Sediments accumulated on the ocean floor, followed by limestone from fossilized marine animals and shells. The two layers formed into metamorphic rock. When North America and Africa collided, it caused the layer of metamorphic rock to tilt upward, creating the Appalachian Mountains.

Creating Caverns

Geology and chemistry are part of nature’s decorating process.

As rainwater seeps through decaying vegetation in the soil, it picks up diluted carbonic acid. The acidified water percolates through limestone, dissolving and eroding layers along the way. It descends into lower levels of the earth and leaves huge chambers.

Calcium carbonate enters the cave and releases carbon dioxide. Over time, what starts as slow seepage and thin deposits of crystallized calcite becomes the massive forms that you see in Luray Caverns today. These formations continue to grow at the rate of one cubic inch every 120 years.

Luray Caverns Quiz
Test Your Caverns I.Q.

You’ve heard some. You’ve read some. You’ve learned some. Now put it to the test. And even if you don’t know the answer, no worries, this quiz let’s you learn all along the way.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 1 of 10

The reds and yellows of the caverns are due to _________?

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Caverns Quiz
Question 1 of 10

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The reds and yellows of the caverns are due to Iron.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 2 of 10

Formations at Luray Caverns formed as a result from a solution of ___________ giving up some of its carbon dioxide, thus allowing a precipitation of lime to form.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 2 of 10

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Formations at Luray Caverns formed as a result from a solution of Calcium Carbonate giving up some of its carbon dioxide, thus allowing a precipitation of lime to form.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 3 of 10

When were Luray Caverns first discovered?

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Caverns Quiz
Question 3 of 10

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Luray Caverns were first discovered in 1878.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 4 of 10

Luray Caverns is an active cave where new deposits accumulate at the rate of one cubic inch every _____ years?

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Caverns Quiz
Question 4 of 10

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New deposits in Luray Caverns accumulate at the rate of one cubic inch every 120 years.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 5 of 10

What is the largest body of water in the caverns?

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Caverns Quiz
Question 5 of 10

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Dream Lake is the largest body of water in Luray Caverns.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 6 of 10

What temperature does Luray Caverns stay uniformly?

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Caverns Quiz
Question 6 of 10

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Luray Caverns remains a cool 54 °F.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 7 of 10

What factor impacts the color and shape of formations?

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Caverns Quiz
Question 7 of 10

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The rate and direction of the seepage determines the color and shape of formations.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 8 of 10

Which cave formation is formed in a fluted and uniformed fashion from the ceiling down?

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Caverns Quiz
Question 8 of 10

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Stalactites form from the ceiling. When spread over a ledge, mineral- bearing water forms massive draperies, frozen waterfalls, veils and tents.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 9 of 10

Which cave formation is built with distinct mounds and ridges on their way toward the ceiling?

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Caverns Quiz
Question 9 of 10

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Stalagmites form on the floor. When Stalagmites and Stalagmites grow together they form columns.

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Caverns Quiz
Question 10 of 10

The coloration in Luray Caverns is caused by many different ________ in the seeping ground water?

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Caverns Quiz
Question 10 of 10

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Minerals cause the array of colors throughout Luray Caverns.

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Teacher Resources

Hey teachers, download these fun and easy experiments to bring geology to life. Your students will have a blast and they’ll learn something new without even realizing it!

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