Caching in: E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center to host geocaching event

Special to The Sun
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 12:38 PM.

Right now, at this very moment there is a treasure hunt going on around the world. And no, it has nothing to do with gold coins and pirates.

For the muggles out there, the treasure hunt in question is called geocaching. Maybe you've seen someone discover a geocache, which is specifically a container hidden at a specific location. Maybe there's one hidden at the very spot you're reading this.

Geocaching — the prefix geo referring to Earth and the global reach of the activity and cache, an old, French word meaning hiding place — was originated more than a decade ago by Dave Ulmer, a computer consultant. Ulmer wanted to test the accuracy of GPS technology by hiding a navigational target in the woods and posting it's coordinates on the internet. The only rules for the finder were simple: "Take some stuff, leave some stuff."

Today, geocaching is conducted the same way.

The beauty of geocaching however, is not the proposed "stuff" you may find, but the experience of navigating the world and discovering new and interesting things about the environment. So it's no surprise that E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center is joining in on the fun.

"I think it is only natural that the Biophilia Center joins in on the fun and introduces others to this outdoor adventure," said Lauren Bray, environmental educator at Biophilia. "Geocaching is a great way for families to discover this natural world and hopefully gain an appreciation for the outdoors, which is exactly what we are trying to accomplish. We want to show this new generation that exploring new places, getting exercise, and maybe even getting a little dirty can be more fun than the virtual alternative."

Co-hosting the Aug. 31 event is Destination Archaeology, a museum in Pensacola that highlights all of the archaeological sites in the state of Florida .

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