Melissani Cave Facts
- Perhaps most significantly, the stunning Melissani Cave ranks as one of the most magnificent sites in its region of the globe. However, virtually no one outside of its area knows of it. This breathtaking site formed on the island of Kefalonia, Greece, in Europe.
- The small Ionian Sea also lies to the east of this marvel, along with the Strait of Ithaca. This breathtaking location also holds a strong place in the hearts of the populace. That’s because it played an important role in the culture of the region in ancient times.
- That’s due to the fact that 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. At some point people forgot about its existence.
- 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 once again appreciate the splendor of Melissani Cave.
- 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 positioning, 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 statement may seem bold, but the accurate statement holds true in the minds of many. It further does so for several different reasons.
Firstly, the distinctive site has two separate chambers that contain a small lake. Even more impressively, that lake includes a little island in the middle. Secondly, this extremely fascinating construction of Nature also has some rather 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). Amazingly, 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 other natural wonders.
In yet another addition to these highly prevalent marvels, 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 uniquely 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 only serve to add an air of other-world uniqueness to the site.
Melissani Cave Formation and History
To the great 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 highly effective shaping action occurred due to the long-term effects of flowing water.
Another impressive surprise awaits those who learn of the site, though. That’s because 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 due to the amazing fact that 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 distinction, though, remains the source of a moderate surprise for scientists, as well as a source for debate. 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 for us, the precise reason for this dual dedication presently remains unknown to historians. For whatever reasons, the figures of worship at that time were the god Pan, and the nymph Melissani, for whom the cave was eventually named.