GEOMORPHOLOGY FUN FUN CAVERN
This is located in a karst or limestone hills in the southeastern area of Los Haitises, which dates back to the Cenozoic era more than 20 million years ago.
The limestone rocks that shape the cave are shell remains of marine corals and other organic organisms. Its calcium carbonate and sodium composition dissolved by water creates these underground structures that we commonly call caverns or caves.
These natural beauties are the result of Almirante river, an underground waterway that runs 7 km through the Fun Fun Cave.
FUN FUN CAVING
Speleology is the science that studies the origin and evolution of the caves , as well as underground environment and speleothems existing in these formations. Stalactites, stalagmites, coladas, chimneys, columns, rock art and cavern pearls are among the many speleothems Fun Fun Cave.
a) Stalactites : formations caused by the dissolution of mineral rocks. These are hanging from the ceiling due to the crystallization of the water-dissolved carbonates caused by the air currents inside the cavern. The rock formed by this crystallization process is known as calcite or crystallized limestone.
b) Stalagmites : formations caused by the calcium salts deposited by dripping water from the stalactites. Its formation initiated in the cave's floor and rises up to join the stalactites and together they form a column.
c) Coladas : this phenomenon is the result of the minerals dissolved by the water that penetrates through the fissures in the rock walls. They form edges and other speleological phenomenon.
d) Chimneys: The dissolution of the minerals causes the caverns' ceiling to create "chimneys" allowing the sunlight to penetrate.
e) Columns : Thanks to the speleological process, nature is able to create a perfect symmetry by joining a stalactite with a stalagmite.
f) Calcites : As earlier mentioned, these are formed by the carbonates crystallization. When light reflects on the crystals, they create a phosphorescence light that resembles that of gold.
FLORA AND FAUNA
The flora is mainly located at the entrance of the cavern, which has lost most of its chlorophyll due to the scarce sunlight.
Fauna, on the other hand, is very abundant and it's composed mainly by fish, shrimp, insects, bats and birds. Due to scarce sunlight, both, fish and shrimp have no pigmentation or vision causing them to develop high sensibility as a mechanism of self defense.
Insects develop large antennas that resemble tentacles. These work as sensors that aid them identify danger.
Since bats are a nocturnal specie, they make Fun Fun Cave their home. Also, frugivores, or animals that feed off of fruits, are present in the cavern.
Swallows are migratory birds that come to the cave during the winter months (December - March) to build their nests around the cavern's main entrance.
The cave's rock art dates back to the pre-Columbian cultures and classifies in two types: the petroglyphs or rock engravings, and pictographs or paintings on the rocks.
Fun Fun Cave has the presence of petroglyphs which reflects an anthropomorphic facade on a stalagmite.
The indigenous culture placed the petroglyphs at the entrance of the cavern whereas the pictographs were situated at a much deeper spot.
For the pre-Hispanic cultures, the caverns or "Guácaras" were the home of the gods and the dead spirits and they used rock art to communicate with them. It is not true that the Indians lived in the cave, although there are exceptional cases of the more primitive race that was not aware of the sedentary life.
Inferior cultures and those previous to the Taino culture used the petroglyphs as a way to express themselves, whereas the pictographs were used by more advanced culture such as the Taino.