Scientist Journeys Into Caves for Clues to Extreme Life

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The caution is seen as necessary because many caves are trashed by vandals out for a good time. Safety is also a concern. Many careless and poorly prepared spelunkers have become lost inside caves or even died for lack of proper equipment and training.

"We want to educate people not to harm caves," said Barton. "It is really important to get correct training, to learn correct technique."

Efforts to educate people about the importance of caves and the fascinating secrets they harbor include a new IMAX movie, Journey into Amazing Caves, which opened recently in theaters across the United States. The movie, produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films, has been released in conjunction with the publication of two books on caving by the National Geographic Society. Barton is featured in the movie and is co-author of one of the books.

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