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The Great Stalacpipe Organ
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  • States:
    Virginia

An organ located deep within a cave, whose "pipes" are the geological features of the cave itself.

Deep in the Luray Caverns of Virginia sits the largest musical instrument in the world.

The Great Stalacpipe Organ appears at first to be a normal organ, but instead of using pipes, the organ is wired to soft rubber mallets poised to gently strike stalactites of varying lengths and thicknesses. When the keyboard is played, the entire subterranean landscape becomes a musical instrument.

In order to achieve a precise musical scale, the chosen stalactites of the organ range over 3.5 acres, but due to the enclosed nature of the space, the full sound can be heard anywhere within the cavern. The organ was invented and built in 1954 by Leland Sprinkle, a mathematician and electronic scientist. It took him over three years to complete it.

Know Before You Go

Visiting hours vary based on season, so be sure to check out the website for tickets and the schedule in advance.

Content originally created for Atlas Obscura.

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