Cave explorer and geologist Francesco Sauro travels to the hidden continent under our feet, surveying deep, dark places inside the earth that humans have never been able to reach before. In the spectacular tepuis of South America, he finds new minerals and insects that have evolved in isolation, and he uses his knowledge of these alien worlds to train astronauts.



  • Have you ever been in cave? Did you like the experience?






  • intrepid – fearless, adventurous
  • skewedhere inaccurate
  • abyss – a deep or seemingly bottomless chasm
  • conduit – a channel for conveying water or other fluid
  • impregnablehere inaccessible
  • boulder – a large rock
  • contaminate – make something dirty, polluted


Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • Why is our perception of the underground world and the atmosphere skewed?
  • How deep is the deepest known cave in the world?
  • What are the karstic regions?
  • What does the number 30,000 refer to?
  • What is so paradoxical and interesting about tepuis mountains in South America?
  • What were the challenges associated with exploring Imawari Yeuta cave?
  • What is so special about the way the organisms living in the cave have evolved?
  • What is the connection between Francesco and astronauts?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the  blank spaces with the correct forms of the words in CAPITAL LETTERS.

So whatever you find in the cave, even a small cricket, has evolved in the dark in complete ________ ISOLATE .And, really, everything that you can feel in the cave are real _________ CONNECT between the biological and the mineralogical world. So as we explore this dark continent and ________ DISCOVERY its mineralogical and biological ________ DIVERSE and ________ UNIQUE, we will find probably clues about the origin of life on our planet and on the ________ RELATE and evolution of life in relationship with the mineral world. What seems only a dark, empty environment could be in reality a chest of wonders full of useful ________ INFORM.


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