One of many spectacular formations within Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park (CA) is the Organ Room. This is a huge cave formation that, when viewed in its entirety, resembles the giant church organs of years gone by.
The Organ Room also gives a good lesson on the effect which people have over time in caves. In the below photo you can see that the cave formation is bright white on the right side and a muddy gray on the right. The dingy look of the rock on the left is from the accumulation of human debris (oil from hands touching, skin flakes, etc) left in the cave over time which hasn’t been cleaned.
It’s because of this type of damage that the Touching Rock is available at the Crystal Cave entrance and everyone is asked to not touch the formations within the cave.
When you get information about what is allowed and not allowed when exploring Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park (CA), one point that will be repeated is that you’re not allowed to touch the cave formations within Crystal Cave. Touching the cave formation damages them. When you touch any formation, oils from your hands are transferred to the formations which could inhibit their continued growth. Crystal Cave is a living cave and is still actively growing.
Since there’s certainly a desire by many people to touch the cave formations, there is a Touching Rock at the cave entrance which you can see and touch. This hopefully gets the touching urge out of your system (or at least allows you to resist while in the cave). Millions of people who have entered Crystal Cave have done so by first putting their hands on the Touching Rock: