Tuesday, May 16, 2017

TED on Tuesday: The World of Caves

Screen shot from the Jill Heinerth TED video

Cave diver Jill Heinerth explores the hidden underground waterways coursing through our planet. Working with biologists, climatologists and archaeologists, Heinerth unravels the mysteries of the life-forms that inhabit some of the earth's most remote places and helps researchers unlock the history of climate change. In this short talk, take a dive below the waves and explore the wonders of inner space.

More people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places that Jill's exploration has taken her right here on the earth. From the most dangerous technical dives deep inside underwater caves, to searching for never-before-seen ecosystems inside giant Antarctic icebergs, to the lawless desert border area between Egypt and Libya while a civil war raged around her, Jill's curiosity and passion about our watery planet is the driving force in her life.

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Screen shot from the Eddy Cartaya TED video

A ranger at Deschutes National Forest in Oregon, Eddy Cartaya not only solves cave crimes — he also explores the ever-changing system of caves within Mount Hood's Sandy Glacier.

Much of Eddy Cartaya's life takes place in caves. A ranger at Deschutes National Forest in Oregon, in charge of law enforcement and investigations, he solves crimes that happen in caves. This can range from investigating the theft of lava formations that date back 6,000 years to tracking down a group of people who covered over ancient cave art with spray paint. 

Cartaya and his climbing partner, Brent McGregor, also explore the frozen, icy caves created in the Sandy Glacier as it slowly slides down Oregon's Mount Hood. In 2011, the pair identified and explored three caves which they named Snow Dragon, Pure Imagination and Frozen Minotaur. Together, the caves create 7,000 feet of passageway through the glacier. Experts think this may be the longest glacial cave system in the United States outside of Alaska.

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