National Geographic : 1953 Mar
400 Glittering Icicles Deck a Crystal Mound Built by the Patient Drip of Waters In each cave the explorers made an exhaustive search for traces of life. They observed not a single plant nor any living animal. But deep in the recesses of one grotto they found an ermine and two bats frozen to death, perhaps centuries ago, after having strayed into the corridors. "We looked in vain for living organisms," says the author. "I believe that not even a highly specialized animal could adapt itself to the conditions or survive them. "Humans can invade these realms of death only briefly and with the help of special equipment, which they must use with the utmost caution." Here the author examines the ice through a magnifying glass. With him is Gilberte.