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A Treatise On Subterraneous Rex

by Mr. Wilson

During my time as a caver I have had occasion to notice that there is a strange species of animal (not listed in the Guinness Book of Records) called Subterraneous Rex.  If anyone wishes to observe this species in their natural Karst Habitat, first you have to track them down "as they tend to congregate in dark obscure places", the best method is to follow the trails of curious white heaps (carbide) placed at random underground. These are usually interspersed with debris such as old boot soles, bits of rubber wet suit, batteries, flash bulbs, and marigold gloves!

If you can get really close to them, strange cries will be heard (these are not to be confused with mating calls!) or birthing grunts when the species are climbing rifts!  Closer observation will reveal that these calls are designed to maintain the morale of the group and boost the team spirit. Call the MRO, and my light has failed, are by far the most common.  Other calls tend to be interspersed with the occasional swear word.  This Species started life underground in Yorkshire and Mendip later spreading to Scotland, Wales and Ireland.  Their habits have changed over the years, in the early days dress tended to be grots, worn hobnail boots, and Miners bathgate helmets with wee bubbies (carbide lamps).  Clothing then progressed to overalls and wet suits, it is now not uncommon to have 3 types of clothing all-purpose made, such is progress!  Brand name purchasing is now the norm and no doubt in the future sponsorship and personal advertising will step in.  I cannot wait to see cavers with Marlboro Lights on their wet suits or may be Durex stencilled on their helmets, some will welcome the Butcombe Brewery sponsoring their efforts, and will no doubt will have to test the product thoroughly!  Please help me find the ultimate S. Rex, you never know they may include caving in the next Olympics.