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How the Crystal Caves Were Discovered

The caves were accidentally discovered in 1907 when two boys who were playing cricket stumbled upon the cave opening. Learn the story of that eventful day in Bermuda history.

A crevice in Bermuda's Crystal Caves

When the cave opening was first discovered, no one knew what awaited below the surface. No one could've imagined it was an otherwordly cavern with formations of every size and shape surrounding a clear subterranean lake 55 feet deep. Today, the caves are a favourite attraction for thousands of visitors every year. Explore the natural wonder of the Crystal Caves.

When you enter the caves, you can only imagine the sense of discovery and awe those two young boys experienced on that day over a century ago.

An excerpt from “A History of The Crystal Caves” by David Summers Tells the Story:

The caves are millions of years old

“Crystal Cave was discovered on a Sunday afternoon in March 1907. To escape the wrath of his parents, who had warned him that Sunday was no day to be playing ball, Carl Gibbons and his friend Edgar Hollis decided to go “in the land” to play. They were throwing the ball to each other, and on one of the throws from Edgar, the ball was pitched too high and went over into the grass. Naturally, Carl went in search of it.

Suddenly, he noticed the grass in a small section of the hill waving to and fro for no evident reason; upon close investigation, he discovered that warm air was emitting from a small hole in the earth. The opening was “no larger than a shilling piece” (about the size of a U.S. quarter).

Carl and Edgar began to dig into the earth with their hands, and then decided to drop a stone in the opening; the tinkling sound it made as it gradually fell heightened their interest in what was really below, first to force the air out and then to make the clinking notes.

Bermuda's Crystal Caves

In great excitement, Carl ran the short distance to his home, secured a crowbar and raced back to enlarge the hole. After removing a few bits of rock, the earth suddenly began to slip under their feet, and luckily, they were able to get away before a patch completely disappeared, leaving an opening about three feet in diameter.

Rather than scaring them, this quickened their senses of adventure, and after carefully surveying the situation, daringly Carl decided to enter the crevice, which he could see tapered off for some distance at a forty degree angle, thus affording much light to enter.

They saw the handiwork of nature over thousands of years unfold before human eyes for the first time.

After travelling for several feet he decided to come back for his buddy, who refused to go without a light. Another quick trip home secured an old kerosene lamp, and with that, their only hope of survival for the next four hours as they explored the depths of Bermuda, they saw the handiwork of nature over thousands of years unfold before human eyes for the first time.

Both boys, unafraid of the unknown regions of darkness, which was broken only by the small beam from their lamp, lured by the musical echoes of their footsteps, fascinated by the dazzling columns of limestone formed by the union of stalactites and stalagmites, slowly descended to a point ninety feet below the surface.”  

– Excerpt with permission from “A History of The Crystal Caves” by David Summers