Earth Science Discovery Cave

Earth Science Discovery Cave

Understanding our home planet can help us understand other planets in our galaxy and beyond. Dig deep in Earth’s geologic history in the Earth Science Discovery Cave, where you’ll learn about plate tectonics, how caves are formed, and how climate change is affecting us right here in Central New York.

Did you know that Central New York was once covered by a shallow inland sea? That’s why it’s so easy to find fossils of brachiopods, trilobites, and coral in the limestone mined in the area – and in our pretend fossil bed inside the cave. We also have a miniature dig on a raised platform so people in wheelchairs can try their hand at uncovering a fossil.

Ever wonder why Syracuse is called the Salt City? Learn about Central New York history and view a block of salt taken from a mine that still operates under Cayuga Lake. Examine weather conditions, reported earthquakes, and more with the Magic Planet exhibit.

Tucked into one corner is a 750-gallon saltwater tank called Coral Reef Adventure that replicates an equatorial sea and the fragile environments of coral reefs. Coral reefs are believed to be the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth occupying less than one percent of the ocean floor, but are home to more than one quarter of all known marine life on Earth.

Last by not least, a hands-on understanding of what topography is by creating mountains, valleys, and plains in the augmented reality sandbox. Watch what happens when you pile sand high and dig down deep!