Underground in Arabia

John Pint


One day in 1983 while walking in the desert north of Riyadh, John Pint came upon a hole the size of a serving plate, so he and his friend Dave Peters chiseled it open enough to squeeze into. Dangling from thirty feet of rope attached to the bumper of a truck, they descended into a cavern that had gone unnoticed for all of time. Thus began John Pint’s twenty-five-year odyssey into the deepest, darkest passages underground in Arabia. John Pint has seen breathtaking natural wonders in Arabia that no human had seen before. Huge, squat stalagmites, giant pink silicon tulips hanging upside down from the ceiling by thin stems, fountains of stalactites suspended from above like chandeliers, and long, thin, white hairs of gypsum invisible from a few feet away, shimmering in a cave alive with sparkles. This account of his discoveries in the caves and lava tubes of the kingdom is rich in speleological technique and geological description. It’s also quite endearing for his many stories of the camaraderie of his fellow cavers and the extravagant generosity of the many Bedouin that he encounters on his quest to discover the secrets hidden beneath the sands of Arabia. It is a story that will entrance speleologists and fascinate even the most claustrophobic armchair adventurer.

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