imageMAMMOTH CAVE, Ky. — Mammoth Cave, the longest known cave in the world, just got mammoth-er.

Park Superintendent Sarah Craighead and Cave Research Foundation President Charles Fox announced Mammoth Cave now totals 400 miles long, which is up 10 miles from its previously recorded length. The revelation came Friday (Feb. 15, 2013) at the Mammoth Cave Science Symposium.

“The expansion of the Mammoth Cave system in the last few years has been a matter of incremental additions to many parts of the cave rather than a single major discovery that pushed the cave past 400 miles,” Fox said in a prepared statement. “In recent years we have resurveyed sections of the cave so that we can produce more detailed maps that meet modern mapping standards, as well as exploring and mapping previously unexplored passages. We have been able to reach this milestone because of the cooperative work of the Cave Research Foundation, the National Park Service, and also the Central Kentucky Karst Coalition working in a section of Mammoth Cave that lies outside the Park boundary.”

The National Park Service manages Mammoth Cave and 52,830 acres above it in south central Kentucky. Members of the Cave Research Foundation volunteer to explore, survey, and map the cave under a general agreement with the Park. Discovery and mapping of the cave allows that Park to better manage and protect its geological and biological underground resources.