In Oregon, a couple discovers a massive lava cave underneath their home.
Under a home in Bend, Oregon, a huge lava tube—a cave created by a volcanic eruption—was discovered.
When Suzanne and James Brierley bought their 10-acre property in 2017, realtors told them there was a small cave somewhere underneath their house. However, the homeowners were taken aback when they discovered the cave’s size recently.
“I was astounded at how big it was… It was so tiny that you couldn’t even touch the ceiling,” James told Bend’s KTVZ.
He said, “It was very impressive; it was almost like a gift we didn’t realize we’d received.”
In order to learn more about the lava tube’s source, the Brierleys contacted the Oregon High Desert Grotto, a branch of the National Speleological Society.
Members of the caving club investigated the cave and gathered information. According to the club, there are still parts of the cave that have yet to be explored, as stated by KTVZ.
The Brierleys, whose home is already on the market, are hoping that the new owners will contribute to the cave’s preservation.
The Oregon High Desert Grotto and the National Speleological Society have been contacted by Washington Newsday for comment.
According to the US National Park Service (NPS), lava tubes are the second most common form of cave after limestone caves, and most are located “close to [the]surface and not too far underground.”
Lava tubes form when lava flows through a region, which is “thousands of degrees hot and can flow like a river.”
The National Park Service explains: “With exposure to the much cooler temperatures in the air above, the top of this white-hot river will cool. The lava solidifies into black stone as it cools, while the molten river below continues to flow.
“The rock above keeps cooling. It thickens and widens and will finally form a roof across the molten rock below creating the ceiling of the cave. Eventually as the eruption ends or the lava flow moves to someplace else, the lava tube drains of molten rock leaving a cave tunnel behind,” the NPS adds.
There are believed to be as many as 400 lava tubes in central Oregon, many of which are on public lands, according to the Bend tourism website.
“These caves were formed by molten lava when the Newberry Volcano erupted and. This is a brief summary.