Bermuda: Crystal Cave and Fantasy Cave
Deep Blue Something…
Crystal Cave is the most famous of Bermuda‘s many subterranean caverns. It is located in Hamilton Parish, close to Castle Harbour.
A tourist attraction since 1907, it was discovered in 1905 by Carl Gibbons and Edgar Hollis, two 12 year-old boys searching for a lost cricket ball.
Soon after, the Wilkinson family (the owners of the property since 1884) learned of the discovery, Mr. Percy Wilkinson lowered his 14 year-old son Bernard into it with a bicycle lamp on 140 feet of strong rope tied to a tree to explore the cave.
The area surrounding Harrington Sound (which lies to the south of Crystal Cave) is of limestone formation and noted for many subterranean waterways, through which the waters of the sound empty into the Atlantic.
Crystal Cave is one of these, and – as its name suggests – is one of the most spectacularly beautiful, with many stalactites, stalagmites, and deep crystal-clear pools. However, some crystal formations have been damaged by earthquakes in the far past.
An excursion to Crystal Cave also includes the neighboring Fantasy Cave with Fantasy being deeper (88 steps down). Fantasy Cave was reopened in the summer of 2001 with all the pathways rebuilt and re-illuminated by artificial lighting.
It was discovered and opened about the same time as Crystal Cave, but was closed by the owners in the 1940s.
The caves are owned by the local Wilkinson Trust, and are open to the public.