The success of an artificial caving system relies on creating an illusion of depth, mystery and discovery.
In an artificial cave, the labyrinth of tunnels has a disorienting effect on the caver for a short distance, giving the impression of being momentarily lost!
Different tunnels and tunnel systems can be explored as the user progresses. They all have different characteristics, and negotiating them involves a variety of activities and movements.
Between each obstacle or feature in the cave there are sections large enough for two or more people, where users can turn around. A large central chamber in most of the caves represents both the “goal” of the exploration, and the “hub” that visitors return to after exploring the various tunnels. Rocks, stalagmites, stalactites and many other surprises are waiting to be discovered there.
Water features and sumps
Running water is distinct from still water in a cave. Still water can be used to create features such as sumps. A sump is a water-filled passageway in a tunnel. Users simply hold their breath to cross them. The caving experience changes as soon as running water is added. When fresh water is pumped into the tunnels in the cave, moving either with or against the current becomes a genuine challenge.
Stalactites, stalagmites and columns
Features found in “real” caves can be added to make artificial caves both realistic and exciting. These features give caves the “wow” effect that keeps users visiting and exploring.
Cave paintings and fossils
Cave paintings and fossils can be added to add impact to tunnels and chambers within the cave. They maintain users’ interest, and also create an educational experience.