• Can the imperfect verticality of some stalactites be due to the air currents?

Not if those nearby are straight or show different deviations. In the Wind Cave there are no groups of stalactites facing the same direction.

  • Is the water temperature the same as the air temperature?

Not exactly since even in a thermostable area it can vary from a minimum of +9,25°C in the “Intermediate Tunnel” to a maximum of +11°C, registered at the start of the floods in the Acheronte area.

  • Has the installation of the re-enforced steel door reduced the air current compared to the way it was before the cave was opened to the public?

Before the explorations the entrance consisted of a narrow opening partially blocked by debris, whose horizontal section was a tenth of what the re-enforced steel door is today (about two square metres). So as not to alter the circulation of fresh air a group of air vents the same width as the original narrow opening have been put beside the door. This precaution however is useless since, the minimum section of the initial gallery, in the last few thousand years, has undergone continuous variations, passing several times from a situation of total obstruction (when the siphon is full) to a width of more than 5 square metres. Before the cave was opened to the public, in this part of the cave it was normal to have great variation in the air circulation and not a constant change of air.

  • Can the heat and carbon dioxide produced by numerous visitors change the micro-climate?

Not if those nearby are straight or show different deviations. In the Wind Cave there are no groups of stalactites facing the same direction.

  • Can the presence of man cause dangerous pollution for the fauna?

It depends on how you define pollution. Certainly foreign bodies can enter the cave on the soles of shoes and in dust on clothes, but since they are mostly organic substances, they are a real feast for the fauna whose reproductive capacity was limited in the past due to the scarcity of food. Since the cave has been open to the public the number of cave dwelling animals has increased considerably.

  • Does the light disturb the fauna that lives in caves?

Definitely; but no-one can force the animals to stay in the light. Considering the entire capacity of the cave, the parts that are illuminated form a very small percentage, so in periods when the lights are often on, the animals simply move to the darker areas.

  • Does the appearance of walkways and lights have a negative effect on the cave enviroment?

The walkways without doubt cause a change, but only from a visual point of view since their limited size and the materials used to build them do not in any way alter the hydrology, meteorology, chemistry and micro-climate of the cave. The lights are also an external feature, but since they remain on for less than an hour a day on average, they don’t cause any significant changes.

  • Why aren’t spotlights with a cold light used to prevent the growth of algae and moss?

Cold light, without any colours of the spectrum, does not enable an exact chromatic perception and therefore the beauty of the underground cannot be fully appreciated. To prevent the growth of greenery, in the Wind Cave, exposure to rays of light has been limited by dividing the lighting into 15 sections, and by applying sensors of infra-red rays to to the lights so as they remain on only for the time to let groups pass.

  • Does the flash damage the formations?

No. The duration of a flash lasts about a twenty thousandth of a second. The quantity of light to which a formation is exposed is infinitely less than that caused, even in a few seconds, by the spotlights.

  • Can we take photographs in the cave?

Yes, as long as the movement of the groups is not held up. Obviously it is forbidden to use a tripod; and a good flash is needed and, if you don’t have a digital camera with automatic balancing of white, use film for daylight. A wide angled lens is advised.