I had no idea crap is so important.
At least bat shit is
North of Kuala Lumpur lie the Batu Caves, an impressive series of caverns carved out of limestone and marble
Hundreds of stairs lead almost vertically to the biggest of them all. The whole network has become a shrine to Hindu gods with various temples throughout the complex.
But off to one side lies the Dark Cave with guided tours.
Our guide was a tiny Indian girl called Darshna whose size belied her strong control of the group.
One Korean kid who kept stepping off the path and ignoring instructions had his torch swiftly confiscated.
“I warned you two times ,” says Darshna
“Awwww,” was the plaintive reply
Anyway the caves are home to thousands of fruit and Insect eating bats. We could see them flitting around in the half light hundreds of feet above us
And all those bats produce a lot of guano. In one part of the system researchers have to walk knee deep in the stuff
But it supports a wide variety of creepy crawlies including cave crickets (think small cockroaches) 8 cm long centipedes and trapdoor spiders.
When you shine your torch into the dark recesses you can see them scuttling about like that scene in Indianna Jones.
They are remarkably resilient.
There’s one worm that, if you cut it Into 4 parts, will continue to live and grow. They hope this can one day help humans to re-grow limbs.
Human limbs presumably , not wormlike appendages, because that would look silly
And the cave crickets eat their own legs when hungry.
Can’t help feeling that’s a false economy cos their legs don’t grow back
“Hey Kev, good news we’ve finally found some new guano droppings after all this time
“Come on its only a five minute walk…….oh………sorry”
A ever , there is a destructive British connection
One MR Ridley came here in the last century looking for fossils. In doing do he blew up large parts if the system , altering it forever
Say what you like about the Brits but they don’t muck about.