AsiaCavePhilippines

Callao Cave

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HISTORY

Callao Cave is a limestone cave located in the districts (in Philippine Barangays) of Magdalo and Quibal, in the municipality of Peñablanca, about 24 kilometers from Tuguegarao, capital of the province of Cagayan, in the Philippines. The name of the municipality of Peñablanca, which in Spanish means white rocks, was chosen because of the large amount of limestone present in the region. This cave is one of three hundred scattered throughout this area and constitutes the most famous natural tourist attraction in the province, also because it is easily accessible by car and then by a concrete staircase with 184 steps. Its system consists of seven cameras, each with a natural upper slit that allows the entry of light beams that illuminate the dark areas of the place. There were previously nine chambers in the system, but an earthquake in the 1980s ended up isolating two of them, making them inaccessible. The first chamber is the largest, with a width of about 50 meters and a height of 36 meters.

WHY THIS PLACE

The space, similar to a cathedral, was transformed into a chapel by the local population. The altar consists of a rock formation, illuminated by the light that penetrates through an opening in the vault of the chamber, which presents clusters of stalactites and stalagmites. There are several spectacular speleothems (mineral deposits) inside the cave, such as flowstones and dripstones (laminar deposits, which appear where water drips, on the walls and floor), curtains, helictites (curved or angular shaped deposits that appear to have if formed in zero gravity), columns and others. In 2007, paleoarchaeologist Armand Salvador Mijares found the fossilized metatarsus of a hominid in this cave.

CURIOSITIES

In 2010 and 2015, seven more teeth and six small bones were found, which were subjected to genetic studies, until in 2019 the paleoanthropologist Détroit published, in the scientific journal Nature, a study that confirmed the discovery of a new human species, called Homo Luzoniensis. , who lived on the island of Luzon in the Philippines between 50,000 and 67,000 years ago. The small size of the hominid's molars suggests that Homo Luzoniensis, like Homo floresiensis, suffered from insular dwarfism, an evolutionary process of reducing the size of large animals, usually mammals, when they are limited to a small habitat such as islands. . He was probably no more than five feet tall and the curvature of his digits suggests he climbed trees.

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