over our planet there are landscapes that hold caves beneath them.
Challenged by the underground frontier and inspired by the secrets
it may yield, cavers share a passion for exploration. Journey
into Amazing Caves follows Hazel Barton and Nancy Aulenbach
on an adventure to explore caves in canyon walls, in glaciers and
beneath the rainforests of Mexico. In these unusual and hostile
places, Barton, a microbiologist, searches for tiny organisms that
somehow survive there. The microorganisms that live in environments
with no light, few nutrients, and in the case of glaciers, locked
in ice for hundreds or thousands of years, have developed unique
survival tactics and lethal weapons against other organisms that
compete for the same, few nutrients. Barton studies this subterranean
life in hopes it may point to new drugs or antibiotics to fight
on a cliff near the Grand Canyon, Dr. Hazel Barton and Nancy Aulenbach
rappel down to a cave entrance, dangling more than 700 feet above
a turquoise-hued river. They aim to be the first to explore a little-known
cave formed millions of years before the river cut through the canyon.
Barton and Aulenbach join a team of scientists and adventurers who
are attempting a record depth – 500 feet -- into a glacier ice cave.
They descend dramatic surface crevasses into a cathedral-like world
of blue ice. Razor-sharp ice shards fall from the glacier walls.
As Nancy studies how these caves are formed, Hazel collects tiny
organisms that can survive extreme pressures and temperatures. These
organisms are in suspended animation and can be brought back to
life when removed from the ice.
caves of Mexico’s Caribbean coast contain the beautiful formations
found in typical, terrestrial caves. In the film, the water is so
clear, you won’t know you’re underwater until you see Hazel in Scuba
gear. These caves are beautiful, but dangerous. One wrong move by
a caver here can be deadly.
Beneath the Mayan jungle, Hazel searches underwater cave passages
for microorganisms living in the shimmering halocline: where the
freshwater that flows beneath the jungle meets the ocean saltwater.
As it conveys
the excitement of scientific exploration, Journey into Amazing
Caves takes audiences on an adventure in the natural world…to
the underground landscapes that are as beautiful and vital as any
place on Earth.