Melissani Cave Facts
- Perhaps most significantly, the stunning Melissani Cave ranks as one of the most magnificent sites no one outside of its area knows of. This breathtaking site formed on the island of Kefalonia, Greece, in Europe. The small Ionian Sea also lies to the east, along with the Strait of Ithaca.
- In addition, this location played an important role in the culture of the region in ancient times. That’s because the location apparently served as a sacred place of worship to the ancient Greeks. In fact, one can still view the remains of a small temple, located within the confines of the cave.
- Quite surprisingly, at some point people forgot about the existence of Melissani Cave. This lamentable loss for those who appreciate history held for countless centuries. Fortunately, however, a speleologist rediscovered the marvelous work of Nature in 1951. Now people can appreciate it once again.
- Furthermore, even more natural beauty surrounds the cave itself. That holds true due to the fact that the opening to the cave lies on the western slope of a mountain. As a result of this fortuitous positioning, beautiful Mediterranean forests surround the feature, creating a beautiful sight.
Melissani Cave Hydrogeology
Without question, the stunningly magnificent formation we call Melissani Cave forms a truly beautiful marvel of geology. This bold but accurate statement holds true for several reasons. Firstly, it has two separate chambers that contain a small lake, that includes a little island in the middle.
Secondly, this extremely fascinating construction of Nature also has some impressive measurements. That’s partly due to the fact that the total length of the cave itself measures roughly 2.2 mi (3.5 km). Further, though, the cave’s measurements also include a 131 ft (40 m) width and a 118 ft (36 m) height.
But, breathtaking Melissani Cave also contains many other natural wonders. In yet another addition to these, the water in which the small island sits has its own beauty. The beautiful water within the cave remains a crystal clear blue-green in color and represents a special mix of freshwater and seawater.
In addition to all of this, numerous other fabulous geological features fill the interior of the beautiful cave. This remains the case because countless stalagmites and stalactites of varying sizes fill the interior. These incredible formations only serve to add an air of other-world uniqueness to the incredible location.
Melissani Cave Formation and History
To the surprise of scientists, the formation of the staggering beauty known as Melissani Cave took place due to a process of naturally occurring rock dissolution. This shaping action occurred due to the long-term effects of flowing water. Furthermore, another surprise awaits those who learn of the site. This dissolution action has not ceased, but continues at a slow but inexorable rate even today.
However, this nature makes this wondrous site uncommon for yet another reason. That’s because the nature of its origins and formation serves to set it apart from other caves around the world. In fact, this gorgeous location represents one of the very few large caves known to have formed via this particular process. That remains the source of a moderate surprise for scientists.
When the ancient Greeks decided to use Melissani Cave as the home of a place of worship, they chose to dedicate it to two separate mythological figures. Quite unfortunately, the precise reason for this dual dedication presently remains unknown to historians. For whatever reasons, the figures of worship were the god Pan, and the nymph Melissani, for whom the cave was named.