Scientists Say: Speleology

This is the study of places dark and deep


The study of caves is called speleology. A scientist who studies them is a speleologist.


Speleology (noun, “spee-lee-AWL-oh-gee”)

This is the scientific study of caves. The word speleology comes from the Latin word “speleum” and the Greek word “spelaion,” both of which mean “cave.” The ending, “ology,” means “the study of.”

Someone who studies caves is called a speleologist (spee-lee-AWL-oh-gist). A speleologist might study the rock that caves are made of or how caves form and why. They can also study the organisms that live in those caves. Some even study caves to find out more about the history of the Earth.

In a sentence

Some scientists in the field of speleology study organisms in caves, which might give clues about how life could survive on Mars. 

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Bethany Brookshire was a longtime staff writer at Science News Explores and is the author of the book Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology and likes to write about neuroscience, biology, climate and more. She thinks Porgs are an invasive species.

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