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Friday, 30 April 2010 17:38

The Sea Ox Cave

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The caves of the Bue Marino derive their name from the Sardinian name of the monk seal that attended. This is the fifth dimension to cave in Italy and the first in Sardinia, rich concretions, stalactites and stalagmites that are reflected in many lakes.

The “Grotte del Bue Marino” - Sea Ox Caves - owe their name to the Sardinian nickname of the monk seal, which frequented the cave in the past. It is the fifth largest cave in Italy as regards dimension and the largest in Sardinia. It is rich in concretions, stalagtites and stalagmites, which mirror in numerous small ponds.

Along the seafront, at about 4 kilometres from Cala Gonone, there are the Bue Marino (“Sea Ox”) Caves. They can be reached by boat (more information and tickets at the quay of Cala Gonone) or on foot ( see chapter “Trekking”).

The cave can be divided into a dry part and an active one: the last one is open to the public and is very rich in concretions, stalagtites and stalagmites, which are reflected in numerous small ponds. Up to some decades ago, the cave was famous because of the monk seal, a rare fin-footed mammal (sea ox) that used to throw there.

The cave in detail

In the district of Dorgali, between Cala Fuili and Cala Luna, there is the karstic cave system of the “Bue Marino”. It has got several entrances to the sea and is - with its more than 15 kilometres in length – the longest cave in Sardinia that is open to the public: about 2,000 metres of visitors’ route ( northern and southern branch).

The cave is situated 3 kilometres north of Cala Luna Beach. Visitors arriving by sea with one of the pleasure boats will immediately notice its majestic entrance with two enormous archs facing the sea.

There is another entrance from the land at about 4 metres above sea level and several more small entrances along the northern branch, some of them below sea level.

The influence of the sea on the shape of the interior is most evident in the area of the cave entrance. There is a well preserved sill made by the breaking of the waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea, situated at 8 metres above the actual sea level. Further proofs are the series of holes of the lithophagae or date mussels (Antonioli & Ferranti, 1992) and a considerable enlargement of the galleries that is caused by a hyper-karstification, the result of the mingling of sea water and karstic fresh water (Forti, 1994).

The karstic cave system of the Bue Marino is characterized by two distinct branches – the northern branch and the southern branch (you need an authorization for the visit of the last one) - which lead off from the entrance area. Each of them has got different hydrogeological characteristics.

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Additional Info

  • latitude: 40.24675
  • longitude: 9.6229
Read 3486 times Last modified on Friday, 14 March 2014 18:33

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