Of 115 speleological objects so far known in the Paklenica National Park, Manita peć is the most famous among the visitors, as it is the only show cave made accessible to the public through guided visits.
The cave’s broad chambers and the beauty of its speleothems have been enchanting visitors since 1937 when the trail inside the cave was set up and visits began. It is located at an altitude of 570 m a.s.l, and the walk up from the parking lot at Velika Paklenica takes about 1.30 h.
The cave is abundant with cave formations or speleothems. They differ in form and origin of formation. The most frequent types of speleothems that you will find in Manita Peć are stalagmites, stalactites, columns and flowstones (cascading rimstone dams).
Some of these formations got their names from their interesting shapes, such as the Helmet, the Organ and the Witch.
Manita Peć cave is rich in underground fauna. The research conducted so far has found a total of 52 taxa of invertebrates, 20 of which are true cave species. They have adapted to the underground environment and they usually cannot survive outside the cave. They are characterized by a lack of pigment and visual sensory organs, however, their other senses (olfactory, gustatory, tactile) are well developed. Several bat species (Rhinolophus spp.) use this cave for hibernation during the winter.
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SOURCE: NP Paklenica
PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons