2

In a Slovenian Cave, Hoping for a Batch of Baby ‘Dragons’

Biologists excited about reproduction of an Olm, an unusual cave dwelling salamander

by NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR

Creatures resembling dragons dwell deep within the caves of Slovenia. And now with the help of biologists, a new brood is set to hatch at an unusual aquarium, accessible by underground train.

This crystal clear egg is one of three recently laid by an olm, a cave amphibian whose long sinuous body, stubby legs and frilly gills led people in the 15th century to believe it was the offspring of dragons.

Though it does not breathe fire, the olm has several attributes fitting a creature of mythology. It can live as long as a hundred years and survive without food for 10. It is blind, but hunts using its incredible sense of hearing and smell, and it can detect electric and magnetic fields.

Female olms only reproduce once every six years and it takes them until the age of 15 to become sexually mature. The aquarium, located at a tourist site known as Postojna Cave, last expected baby olms in 2013. But none of those eggs hatched and several were eaten by other olms in the tank, explained Sašo Weldt, a biologist who works there…

(read more: NY Times)

photos by Dragan Arrigler and Iztok Medja

The Cave

“Come on honey, we’ll be safe in here.” I reassured my daughter as we made our way into the cave. “The storm won’t last long, then we’ll be on our way.” She still looked petrified.

Since my wife and I got divorced, every weekend I get my daughter from Friday night until Sunday night. And she never seems to have much fun with me, so this weekend I decided to take her camping. It was going well until this brutal storm started out of no where. Sheets of rain were pouring down, it seemed to be lightening right over us, and the wind was so strong it blew our tent away. So the only thing I could think to do was bring her to this cave for shelter.

She was terrified to be in here, I could tell. She was afraid that there might be some dangerous animals deeper in, and to be honest I was too. But I had to keep her feeling secure so I didn’t let my fear show.

“Daddy, are you sure there’s nothing else in here?” She asked.

“Absolutely sweetheart.”

“But how do you know?” She questioned, staring into the darkness of the cave.

“Hey!” I shouted. “Anything there!”

It echoed back…. “Hey anyone there….hey anyone there…..

We listened for a moment.

"See,” I said. “Nothing but us.”

She began to smile in relief. “I like the echo,” she said with a giggle. “Hello!” She hollered into the darkness.

The echo rolled back……
“hello….hello….

I had to smile, at least she was kind of having fun.

"See, no storm can keep us down.” I gave her a pat on the head. “Were alive and having fun!” I belted out waiting for the echo.

It echoed back…… “Not for long!….”


Written By: Sage
short-horror-hits

instagram

Goblin in his cave #animation #cartoon #goblin #cave

vine

An Ice Cave inside Iceland’s Vatnajokull Glacier