Science works to save a salty world treasure; KATHIANN KOWALSKI; Science News For Students

Poland – Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines

Poland’s 700-year old salt mine, just outside Kraków, not only is a cultural art treasure, but also an active research site for geologists, chemists and more.

Water and pollution threaten Poland’s 700-year-old World Heritage Site.

WIELICZKA, Poland — Shining a flashlight, Marek Klimowicz [KLEE-moh-veech] leads me through a dimly lit tunnel. Old wooden timbers support the roof and walls of rock. The tunnel leads us to a warren of rooms large and small. With few exceptions, Klimowicz says, “Everything here is salt.”

There’s salt above us. We walk on a floor of salt. Just an arm’s length away are walls of salt. In all, this underground warren contains some 2,000 chambers. They span a vast 7 million cubic meters (265 million cubic feet). That’s nearly triple the volume inside the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

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