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Best Caves in Las Vegas Nevada

Best Caves in Las Vegas Nevada

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The Las Vegas Strip is known for its glitz and glam, but did you know that the area is also home to several fascinating caves? From limestone formations to gypsum caves, there are plenty of natural wonders to explore in and around the city.

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One of the most popular cave systems in the area is Lehman Caves, located in Great Basin National Park. This stunning limestone cave features a variety of stalactite and stalagmite formations, as well as unique cave-dwelling wildlife. Guided tours are available to help you explore the cave safely and learn about its history and geology.

Another interesting cave system to check out is Gypsum Cave, located about 15 miles east of Las Vegas. This historic cave is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features six rooms measuring 320 feet long by 120 feet wide. Whether you’re a seasoned spelunker or just looking for a unique adventure, Las Vegas’s caves are sure to impress.

Geographical Overview of Las Vegas Caves

Las Vegas, Nevada, is known for its bright lights, casinos, and entertainment. However, the city is also home to several caves waiting to be explored. Most of these caves are located in the eastern part of the city, in the foothills of the Frenchman Mountain range.

The caves in Las Vegas are formed from different types of rocks, including limestone, gypsum, and volcanic tuff. These rocks were formed millions of years ago and have undergone various geological processes that resulted in the formation of caves. Some caves are still being formed today, while others have been around for thousands of years.

The climate in Las Vegas is arid, with hot summers and mild winters. This climate has a significant impact on the formation and preservation of caves in the area. Most of the caves are dry, and the lack of water has prevented the formation of underground rivers and lakes. However, some caves have small pools of water that are home to unique species of animals and plants.

The caves in Las Vegas are also affected by human activities. Some caves have been damaged by mining, construction, and vandalism. As a result, some caves are closed to the public, while others require special permits or guided tours to access them.

Overall, Las Vegas is home to a diverse range of caves that offer a unique opportunity to explore the natural wonders of the city. Whether you are a seasoned adventurer or a curious tourist, the caves in Las Vegas are sure to provide a memorable experience.

Historical Significance

Las Vegas is not only known for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene but also for its rich history and cultural significance. The caves in Las Vegas are a testament to the city’s past and are an important part of the region’s history.

One such cave is the Gypsum Cave, located in eastern Clark County. This limestone cave is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains six rooms, measuring 320 feet long by 120 feet wide. The cave was home to giant ground sloths many years ago, and its discovery has provided valuable insights into the region’s prehistoric past.

Another historically significant cave in Las Vegas is the Lehman Caves, located in the Great Basin National Park. The cave was discovered in the late 1800s and has since become a popular tourist destination. The cave contains an extensive collection of unique formations, including stalactites, stalagmites, and helictites, that have formed over millions of years.

The historical significance of these caves cannot be overstated. They provide a glimpse into the past and offer a unique opportunity to learn about the region’s natural history. Whether you are a history buff or just looking for an adventure, exploring these caves is an experience you won’t forget.

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Famous Caves in Las Vegas

If you’re looking for an adventure in Las Vegas, exploring the caves in the area is a great option. Here are some of the most famous caves in Las Vegas that you should check out.

Cave Canyon: Unveiling Subterranean Secrets

Tucked away in the beautiful Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is Cave Canyon, a special cave that adds an exciting twist to your hike. The trail to the cave is about 1.5 miles long and treats you to amazing views of the landscape around you.

Once you find the cave, you’re free to explore it on your own. This area is known to be a habitat for bighorn sheep! Bighorn sheep are well-adapted to the rugged terrain so keep your eyes open on your hike!

A Trail to Remember:

Cave Canyon isn’t just a cave – it’s an adventure that starts with a hike. The trail is around 1.5 miles long and takes you through the stunning Red Rock Canyon. As you walk, you’ll see incredible views that show off the natural beauty of the area.

Going Underground:

When you reach Cave Canyon’s entrance, get ready for something exciting. You can decide if you want to go inside the cave. It’s like stepping into a hidden world that was shaped by nature over a long time.

Exploring on Your Own:

Unlike caves with guided tours, in Cave Canyon, you’re in charge. You can go at your own pace and explore however you like. As you walk through the cave, you’ll see different shapes and formations that were created over many years. It’s like a journey into the past, and you get to be the one to uncover its secrets.

Enjoying the Outdoors:

Cave Canyon isn’t just about the cave – it’s also surrounded by the beautiful Red Rock Canyon area. You can do other outdoor activities here, like hiking and rock climbing. It’s a peaceful place where you can enjoy the desert scenery.

Discovering Something New:

Cave Canyon is waiting for you to come and discover its hidden wonders. It’s a place where you can experience the thrill of exploring underground. As you go through the cave, you’ll learn about the Earth’s history and make memories that will stay with you.

In the heart of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Cave Canyon is a reminder of how amazing nature can be. It’s an invitation to explore a different side of the world around us. Are you excited to take a hike and uncover the secrets of Cave Canyon?

Devil’s Throat Sinkhole: A Daring Underground Adventure

Hidden within Lake Mead Recreation Area, Devil’s Throat Sinkhole invites adventurers to embark on a unique underground journey. This extraordinary cave isn’t just a hole – it’s a deep vertical chasm that plunges an astonishing 127 feet into the earth. Named after the mysterious rumbling sound when the wind brushes its entrance, Devil’s Throat Sinkhole is a natural wonder that demands awe and respect.

Exploring a Subterranean Realm:

Entering Devil’s Throat Sinkhole is like stepping into another world. As you go deeper, sunlight fades, and an otherworldly darkness surrounds you, illuminated only by your trusty headlamp. The sinkhole’s walls display intricate patterns carved by time, showcasing the forces of nature that shaped this underground cathedral. Stalactites hang like ancient chandeliers, and the cool, damp air adds an air of mystery.

For the Adventurous:

It’s important to know that Devil’s Throat Sinkhole isn’t for everyone. Only experienced cavers should attempt to explore its depths, as its vertical terrain and challenging passages require skill, preparation, and a deep understanding of caving techniques. Rappelling into the darkness sends a rush of adrenaline, a reminder that you’re entering an untouched realm.

Protecting a Natural Marvel:

Access to Devil’s Throat Sinkhole is carefully controlled to protect its delicate ecosystem and unique formations. The cave’s preservation is crucial, and those who venture inside become part of a special group committed to responsible exploration and conservation.

The Thrill of Discovery:

Venturing into Devil’s Throat Sinkhole brings incredible rewards. It’s not just about conquering the depths – it’s about connecting deeply with the Earth, marveling at its hidden wonders. It’s about pushing boundaries, embracing the unknown, and experiencing the excitement of discovery. Devil’s Throat Sinkhole reminds us that there’s much more to our world than meets the eye.

At the heart of Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Devil’s Throat Sinkhole stands as a testament to the beauty and power of nature. Embarking on this journey reveals a realm beyond the ordinary, unveiling the extraordinary wonders below the surface. Are you ready to take the leap?

Best Caves in Las Vegas Red Rock Canyon

Emerald Cave: Where Nature’s Beauty Shines

In the middle of the grand Colorado River, just a few miles downstream from the Hoover Dam, rests a secret treasure that seems like it was taken straight from an artist’s imagination. Emerald Cave, a stunning marvel nestled within the river’s grasp, boasts an indescribable beauty that will leave you in awe.

As you approach its calm waters, you’ll instantly understand why it’s called Emerald Cave – the water’s dazzling emerald green watercolor reflects its name perfectly.

A Sparkling Underwater Wonderland:

Emerald Cave isn’t just any cave; it’s a breathtaking combination of clear water and nature’s incredible palette. The water’s emerald green hue is a sight to behold, created by sunlight shining through the river’s depths and bouncing off the limestone walls beneath. It’s a sight that fills you with wonder and invites you to dive into a world where reality and imagination blend together.

An Unforgettable Water Adventure:

Reaching Emerald Cave is an adventure of its own, as you glide across the Colorado River on a kayaking trip. Keep in mind that the Colorado River is a habitat for bald eagles, especially during their winter migration when they seek food sources near water.

The excitement builds even more as you get closer to the cave’s entrance, revealing a gateway to a world of aquamarine magic. Stepping into the cave feels like stepping into a liquid realm of enchantment, where the water sparkles with a mesmerizing shine, and the echoes of nature’s mysteries fill the air.

A Playground for Water Lovers:

Beyond its stunning appearance, Emerald Cave offers a paradise for water enthusiasts looking to connect with the wonders of nature. Kayakers gracefully navigate the calm waters, creating ripples that dance along with the emerald shades. Snorkelers plunge into an underwater paradise, exploring hidden corners where sunlight plays with the water’s colors and marine life thrives.

Protecting a Natural Treasure:

Just like any precious wonder of nature, preserving Emerald Cave is incredibly important. Responsible exploration and a dedication to taking care of the environment ensure that generations to come can also experience the cave’s magnificence.

A Journey to Tranquility:

Emerald Cave calls out to you, inviting you on a voyage into a peaceful world. It’s a place where the ordinary transforms into something extraordinary, and where the Earth’s colors come to life in a captivating dance. As you glide through the emerald waters, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a realm where beauty knows no limits, and nature’s artistry is on full display.

Emerald Cave serves as a reminder of the remarkable beauty that exists within nature’s heart. It’s a testament to the Earth’s incredible creativity and an invitation to embark on a journey that celebrates the wonders of the natural world. Are you ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting embrace of Emerald Cave?

Best Caves in Las Vegas Emerald Cave

Fort Apache Caves: A Hidden Gem for Explorers

While not as famous as some other caves, it’s definitely worth a visit. Accessible only by hiking, the trail leading to the cave spans about 2 miles, treating hikers to breathtaking views of the majestic mountains that envelop the area. Once you arrive at the cave, you’re free to embark on your underground expedition.

A Trail of Discovery:

Fort Apache Caves invites you to embark on a journey of exploration. The trail leading to the cave is around 2 miles long, winding through the picturesque Spring Mountains. As you hike, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas that showcase the rugged beauty of the surrounding landscape.

A Gateway to the Subterranean:

Upon reaching the entrance of Fort Apache Caves, a sense of anticipation fills the air. The decision to venture into the cave is yours to make, and the path you choose to take will reveal secrets hidden beneath the surface. This is your chance to step into the unknown and connect with the mysteries of the Earth.

Your Own Adventure:

Unlike caves with guided tours, Fort Apache Caves allows you to be the architect of your own experience. As you navigate the cave’s passages, you’ll encounter unique formations that tell a story of the Earth’s transformation over countless years. It’s an opportunity to forge a personal connection with the subterranean world.

A Haven of Natural Beauty:

Beyond the allure of the cave itself, Fort Apache Caves is set within the stunning Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. This area offers a variety of outdoor activities, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty of the outdoors.

Uncovering the Unknown:

Fort Apache Caves beckons you to step into the shadows and uncover the wonders that lie beneath the surface. It’s a reminder that there’s more to explore than what meets the eye. As you traverse the cave’s passages, you’ll create memories that highlight the thrill of discovery and the interconnectedness of Earth’s mysteries.

Tucked within Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, Fort Apache Caves stands as a testament to the allure of venturing into the lesser-known corners of nature. It’s an invitation to embrace curiosity and delve into the remarkable world hidden below. Are you ready to embark on a journey into the heart of Fort Apache Caves?

Lehman Caves: Discovering Nature’s Artistry Underground

Tucked within the Great Basin National Park is a remarkable place called Lehman Caves. These caves hold a hidden world full of incredible formations created over a very long time. It’s like an underground art gallery where you can see rocks shaped into beautiful designs by nature.

A World of Amazing Shapes:

These natural caves are a special place where rocks have turned into all sorts of interesting shapes. There are over 300 unique formations that you won’t find anywhere else. Imagine looking at rocks that look like shields (actually called cave shields) or fancy curtains hanging from the ceiling – it’s like a natural sculpture garden. That is just one of the reasons it is such a popular destination.

Guided Kayak Tour: Exploring with Experts:

To visit Lehman Caves, you’ll have a tour guide who knows all about them and will share facts like how the caves were named after Absalom Lehman, a local rancher who is believed to have been one of the first non-Native Americans to enter the cave system in the late 19th century.

Lehman’s discovery of the cave contributed to its recognition and eventual protection as a national monument. Your knowledgeable guide will show you around and tell you cool things about how the caves were made. Don’t worry if you’re new to this – there are different tours for different people, so everyone can enjoy the adventure.

A Trip Back in Time:

When you step into the Lehman Cave entrance, it’s like going back in time. The caves are chilly and quiet, and you can almost feel the history all around you. Stalactites hang from the ceiling, looking like icicles made of rock. There are also thin straws that look like tiny pipes – nature’s way of making art.

Using All Your Senses:

Exploring Lehman Caves isn’t just about looking – it’s about using all your senses. You’ll hear water dripping and feel the cool air. The light makes the rocks sparkle and shine. It’s like being in a different world that’s full of interesting things to experience.

Learning About Earth’s Past:

Lehman Caves is like a window into Earth’s past. By looking at the formations, you can learn how our planet has changed over a very, very long time. It’s like a lesson in geology, right there in the caves. They actually have been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

The cave has a long history of exploration and scientific study, dating back to the late 19th century. It has played a significant role in advancing our understanding of cave formations and the unique ecosystem they support.

Taking Care of a Special Place:

We have to be careful when we visit Lehman Caves. The formations are fragile, so we need to make sure we don’t touch or harm them. It’s important to keep the caves just as amazing for the people who come after us.

A Chance to Explore:

Lehman Caves invites you to explore a hidden world of natural beauty. It’s a journey that lets you discover unique rock shapes and learn about the wonders of our Earth. Walking through the caves, you become a part of a story that started a very long time ago.

Lehman Caves shows us how incredible nature can be, and it’s a chance to learn, wonder, and connect with the Earth’s past. Are you ready to take an adventure into this amazing underground world?

Best Caves in Las Vegas Cavern in Lehman Cave

Toquima Cave: Nature’s Underground Sculpture Garden

Within the serene Toiyabe National Forest lies a hidden gem that uniquely showcases nature’s artistry. Toquima Cave, celebrated for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites, offers a glimpse into an underground world shaped by time and water. Accessible through a brief hike, this cave has become a favored destination for those seeking outdoor adventures like hiking and camping.

A Subterranean Showcase of Marvels:

Toquima Cave is like a gallery where nature has created intricate sculptures from stone. Stalactites hang from the ceiling like delicate chandeliers, while stalagmites rise from the ground, forming a mesmerizing landscape that captures the imagination. These formations are a testament to the patient work of water and minerals over thousands of years.

A Nature Lover’s Haven:

Visiting Toquima Cave is a treat for nature enthusiasts. A short hike leads you to the entrance, where you’ll step into a world of wonder hidden beneath the forest floor. It’s a place where you can marvel at the beauty of nature’s handiwork and feel a sense of connection with the Earth’s history.

An Adventure for All:

Exploring Toquima Cave doesn’t require extreme expertise. With a manageable hike, even beginners can enjoy the thrill of discovering these captivating formations. Whether you’re a casual explorer or an experienced outdoor enthusiast, the cave offers an accessible adventure that rewards those willing to seek it out.

A Playground for Outdoor Escapes:

Beyond its enchanting beauty, Toquima Cave is an inviting playground for outdoor lovers. The surrounding Toiyabe National Forest offers opportunities for hiking and camping, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature. The cave’s presence adds an extra layer of allure to an already enticing destination.

Preserving a Natural Treasure:

As with all natural wonders, preserving Toquima Cave is of utmost importance. By respecting the delicate formations and following responsible hiking and camping practices, visitors can help ensure that this unique site remains intact for generations to come.

Unveiling Earth’s Artistry:

Toquima Cave unveils the hidden wonders that lie beneath the surface, inviting you to step into a realm of natural artistry and geological marvels. It’s a journey that celebrates the beauty of the Earth and reminds us of the mysteries waiting to be discovered just a short hike away.

Toquima Cave stands as a testament to the beauty and resilience of the natural world. It’s an invitation to embark on a path less traveled and witness the extraordinary creations that time and water have crafted. Are you ready to embrace the magic that lies within Toquima Cave’s depths?

Best Caves in Las Vegas Toquima Cave

Wind Cave: A Hidden Art Gallery of Nature

Tucked away in the lovely Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a special place – Wind Cave. This cave is famous for its unique formations that were shaped over a very long time. You can reach it by taking a short hike, making it a popular choice for people who enjoy hiking and camping.

A Museum of Earth’s Marvels:

Wind Cave is like a museum where nature has created its own sculptures. These formations tell a story of how water and time have shaped the underground world. Stalactites and other interesting shapes decorate the cave, inviting you to admire the amazing beauty hidden under the ground.

A Playground for Nature Lovers:

If you love being outdoors, Wind Cave is a great spot for you. A quick hike will take you to the entrance, where you’ll step into a world that’s unlike any other. It’s a place where you can see how nature has crafted the land and feel connected to the Earth’s past.

An Adventure for Everyone:

You don’t need to be an expert to explore Wind Cave. With an easy hike, even if you’re new to this, you can experience the excitement of discovering its unique formations. Whether you’re an occasional explorer or someone who loves outdoor activities, the cave offers an easy and enjoyable journey.

A Paradise for Outdoor Fans:

Not only is Wind Cave itself interesting, but the area around it in Lake Mead National Recreation Area is beautiful too. You can go hiking and camping, fully immersing yourself in the peaceful outdoors. The cave adds an extra layer of excitement to an already amazing destination.

Taking Care of a Natural Beauty:

Just like any special place in nature, it’s important to treat Wind Cave with care. By being responsible when you hike and camp, you help keep this incredible site just as it is for people who come after you.

Discovering Earth’s Hidden Treasures:

Wind Cave is an invitation to explore and uncover the amazing things hidden below the surface. It’s a reminder that beyond what we usually see, there’s a whole different world waiting to be discovered.

To sum up, Las Vegas is home to some really beautiful and unique caves. Whether you’re an experienced cave explorer or you’re just looking for a fun adventure, checking out these caves is a fantastic idea. It’s a chance to see the incredible things that the Earth has created and to feel connected to the beauty that’s hidden beneath the ground. Are you excited to find out the secrets that Wind Cave and the other caves hold?

Other Cave Tours

In addition to these caves, there are several other cave tours available in Las Vegas. Black Canyon Water Trail Kayak Tour with Emerald Cave & Overlook is a popular tour that takes visitors on a kayaking expedition on the Colorado River. Visitors can also explore the Cavern Cave Tours, which offers a variety of cave tours in the Las Vegas area.

Overall, Las Vegas has several caves that offer unique experiences for visitors. Whether you’re interested in hiking or kayaking, there’s a cave tour that will suit your interests.

Provide a safe bat habitat
Provide a safe bat habitat!

Ecological Importance

Las Vegas is home to several caves that are not only beautiful but also ecologically important. These caves are home to unique and diverse ecosystems that are worth protecting. Here are some reasons why:

  • Habitat for Rare Species: Caves provide habitat for a variety of rare and unique species that are adapted to living in the dark and damp environment. For example, the Lehman Caves in Great Basin National Park is home to several species of bats, including the Townsend’s big-eared bat and the western small-footed bat. These bats are important pollinators and insect controllers, and their presence in the cave ecosystem is crucial to maintaining a healthy environment.
  • Water Resources: Caves are also important sources of water. They can store large amounts of water that can be used during dry periods. For example, the Gypsum Cave in Las Vegas is a significant source of water for the surrounding area. The cave has a large underground lake that is fed by underground springs. The water in the lake is used for irrigation and other purposes.
  • Geological Research: Caves also provide important information about the geological history of the region. The cave formations, such as stalactites and stalagmites, can provide clues about the past climate and geologic events. For example, the Hidden Cave at Grimes Point in northwest Nevada is an archaeological site that has provided valuable information about the history of the region.
  • Tourism and Education: Finally, caves are important for tourism and education. They provide opportunities for people to learn about the unique ecosystems and geological history of the region. The Lehman Caves in Great Basin National Park, for example, offer guided tours that educate visitors about the cave’s history and ecology.

Overall, the caves in Las Vegas are not only beautiful but also ecologically important. They provide habitat for rare species, water resources, geological information, and tourism and education opportunities. It is important to protect and preserve these unique ecosystems for future generations to enjoy.

Safety Measures for Cave Exploration

Cave exploration can be an exciting and thrilling experience, but it can also be dangerous if proper safety measures are not followed. Here are some important safety measures to keep in mind when exploring caves in Las Vegas:

1. Always Wear Proper Gear

Wearing proper gear is crucial for cave exploration. This includes a helmet with a headlamp, sturdy hiking boots with good traction, and gloves to protect your hands. You should also wear appropriate clothing that covers your arms and legs to protect against scratches and cuts. If you are on the water taking a kayaking tour, make sure you have life vests.

2. Stay on Designated Trails

It is important to stay on designated trails when exploring caves. These trails have been specifically marked and maintained for safety reasons. Going off-trail can be dangerous as you may encounter unexpected hazards or unstable terrain.

3. Bring Necessary Equipment

Bringing the necessary equipment can help ensure a safe and successful cave exploration. This includes a map of the cave system, a compass, a first-aid kit, and enough food to go with your water bottle for the duration of your trip. It is also a good idea to bring a backup light source in case your headlamp fails.

4. Know Your Limits

Cave exploration can be physically demanding and mentally challenging. It is important to know your limits and not push yourself beyond what you are capable of. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe at any point during your exploration, it is best to turn back.

5. Check Weather Conditions

Checking weather conditions before entering a cave is important as caves can flood during heavy rainfall. If there is a chance of rain or flooding, it is best to postpone your exploration until conditions improve.

6. Follow Cave Conservation Guidelines

Following cave conservation guidelines is important to protect the delicate cave ecosystem. This includes not touching or disturbing cave formations, avoiding disturbing wildlife, and packing out all trash and waste.

By following these safety measures, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable cave exploration experience in Las Vegas.

take necessary safety equipment

Final Thoughts

Our exploration of Nevada’s caves has unveiled some of the best experiences for nature enthusiasts. The state’s diverse landscapes, especially in places like Lehman Caves and Fort Apache Caves, provide a fantastic backdrop to witness the amazing rock formations that have formed over countless years.

From small, cozy corners to vast chambers like Wind Cave and Cave Canyon, each cave offers a unique and memorable experience that showcases Earth’s creativity. These caves reveal stunning rock shapes that tell stories older than we can imagine.

While you journey through these underground wonders, don’t forget the stunning views that greet you at cave entrances. Whether it’s the desert stretching out or the majestic mountains, the beauty of Nevada’s nature is always present.

In the heart of Nevada’s landscapes, you’ve encountered a hidden world where rocks take on fantastic forms and ancient tales come to life. These caves don’t just offer a glimpse into history – they let you create your own moments in the here and now.

As you step back into daylight, remember the magic of each cave’s beauty and the lasting impressions from your remarkable adventure in Nevada’s captivating caves.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular cave tours near Las Vegas?

Some popular cave tours near Las Vegas include the Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park, the Grand Canyon Caverns, and the Lehman Caves in Great Basin National Park.

How far is the Lehman Caves from Las Vegas?

The Lehman Caves are located approximately 290 miles north of Las Vegas. It takes about 4.5 hours to drive there.

What are the names of some caves in Nevada?

Some of the names of caves in Nevada include the Lehman Caves, Crystal Cave, and the Grand Canyon Caverns.

Are there any maps of Nevada caves available?

Yes, there are maps of Nevada caves available. The National Speleological Society maintains a database of cave maps that can be accessed online.

What are some popular caves to visit near Arizona?

Some popular caves to visit near Arizona include the Kartchner Caverns, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, and the Grand Canyon Caverns.

What is the most famous cave in the area?

The most famous cave in the area is likely the Lehman Caves in Great Basin National Park. It is known for its stunning limestone formations and guided tours.


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