Did you know that …
– Stalagmites “sprout” off the floor?
– Stalactites are those mineral formations that hang on top of the caves?
– There are many rumors about a cave in Brazil that if you get through the lake, he leads us to Macchu Picchu (Peru)?
– Not all bats that live in caves are “vampires”? They mostly eat insects, not being vampire.
If there are places that excite our imagination, are the caves because of the mystique that they invite to.
Caves(the Latin cavus, hollow) are all natural rocky cavity with dimensions that allow access to human beings. They result from a number of geological processes that may involve a combination of chemical, tectonic, biological and atmospheric changes.
Caves can be horizontal or vertical development in the form of galleries and salons.
They show up frequently on land formed by sedimentary rocks, but also in igneous and metamorphic rocks, and glaciers and coral reefs.
Come with us to explore this world and meet the most enchanting caves on the planet:
1. Cave of the Ghost – Canaima National Park, Venezuela
Recently discovered in 2002, this is a giant cave with 250 m high in southern Venezuela.
“La Cueva del Fantasma” is situated in one of the most biologically rich and geologically ancient parts of the world, in the Aprada-tepui.
It is interpreted as the remain of an impressive gorge. A waterfall comes down from its wall, forming a pond at the cave floor, creating an even more surreal landscape.
https://youtu.be/N58E-ft7A4k width=”640″ height=”480″
2. Cave of the Swallows – Aquismon, Mexico
First explored by outsiders in 1966 by T. R. Evans, Charles Borland and Randy Sterns, the Cave of the Swallows is an open air pit cave situated at the Municipality of Aquismon in Mexico.
It has freefall drop of 333 m from the floor of the cave to the lowest side of the opening, with 370 m drop from the highest side. It is deep enough to fit the Statue of Liberty standing on her own shoulders, the Eiffel tower, or the Chrysler building.
And you can get deeper… In the bottom of the cave there’s a sinkhole in a fault of the lower Cretaceous limestone, which can go down further to 512 m.
The Cave of the Swallows has more recently become the home to vertical cavers and base-jumpers.
https://youtu.be/ocpuuaNwMSw width=”640″ height=”480″
3. Fingal Cave – Staffa, Scotland
Found by the naturalist Sir Joseph Banks in 1772, Fingal Cave is a sea cave that is part of a national reserve on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides, supported by two natural basalt columns resulting from a lava flow. That’s why it has also the designation of Staffa, which means “pillars island”.
One of its appealing factors, is the acoustic resulting from its size, from the natural arches ceiling, and the thrilling echoes produced by the waves, creating an atmosphere of a natural cathedral.
In 1973, it was declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest and in 2001 it was designated as National Nature Reserve.
https://youtu.be/bdNFzXH4Qug width=”853″ height=”480″
4. Glowworm Cave – Waitomo, New Zealand
More than 30 million years ago, the legend of Waitomo began with the creation of limestone at the bottom of the ocean. Now, a cave system of limestone formations stand as one of New Zealand’s most natural wonders.
Known for the population of glowworms (Arachnocampa luminosa), the Waitomo Cave system offers its visitors a wonderful boat ride amidst thousands of glowworms illuminating the cave, giving the impression of a starry sky. This production of light attracts prey, helping in the capture of animals like moths.
Reminds Van Gogh Painting Starring Night!
https://youtu.be/puxf3HlMRCw width=”853″ height=”480″
5. Cave of Crystals – Chihuahua, Mexico
Discovered in 2000 after drilling an aquifer and pumping out tens of thousands of gallons of water, the absolutely astonishing giant Cave of Crystal is connected to the Naica Mine, located in Chihuahua, Mexico.
The conditions here are extreme! With a constant temperature of 58°C and almost 100% humidity, it is a very dangerous environment for those who are exposed more than 10 minutes without proper equipment.
With 500,000 years of age, this amazing crystals were formed from the underground magma, which maintained the water at a stable temperature of 50°C, saturating it with minerals, including calcium sulphate.
On the main chamber, we can find the largest selenite crystals ever found, some of them reaching 11 m in length, 4 m in diameter and about 55 tons in weight.
https://youtu.be/0OLdSJmvcUs width=”853″ height=”480″
6. Lascaux Caves – Motignac, France
The caves of Lascaux (France) contain the best examples of prehistoric art in the world!
They were discovered in 1940 and consist of a main cavern and several galleries magnificently decorated with engravings of paintings and drawings of animals. These paintings are estimated to be 17,300 years old.
The main figures found here represent three great aurochs to cross a river. Lascaux Caves are widely considered prehistoric equivalent to the Sistine Chapel, and this legacy was considered UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
https://youtu.be/nYhmq3vo7aY width=”853″ height=”480″
7. Ice Cavern – Skattafel, Iceland
Formed by the hot water from a volcanic spring below Vatnajökull glacier, the Kverkfjöll ice cave is considered one of the most famous glacier caves in the world.
Discovered in the 1980s during an expedition, it is located in a frozen lagoon in Skattafel, Iceland.
https://youtu.be/FvzDkpYiLoI width=”853″ height=”480″
8. Blue Grotto – Capri, Italy
The blue grotto is a must see for any visitor to Capri!
At first, all you’ll see is the darkness. Then, all of a sudden, the cavern fills with a flickering blue and silver light. This effect happens because the sunlight that passes through the underwater cavity and shines through the seawater creates a blue reflection that illuminates the cave.
https://youtu.be/JcJCh-8FDS4 width=”853″ height=”480″
9. The Reed Flute Cave – Guangxi, China
The Reed Flute Cave Scenic Area is located 5 km northwest of the downtown of Guilin, in China. It was found in the 40s by refugees who were hiding from Japanese troops during World War II, and in 1962 was opened for public visitation.
However, there were found more than 70 inscriptions dating from 792 AD, age of the Ming Dynasty, which proves that the cave is considered as an attraction since ancient times! Takes an hour to finish the tour in the cave for it is 250 m in depth and 500 m in length. It’s a landmark and a tourist attraction for the past 1200 years.
Inside this water-eroded cave, we find a spectacular world of rock and mineral formations, stone pillars, and carbon deposits illuminated by different colored lights.
https://youtu.be/rhkti7GkOYE width=”853″ height=”480″
10. The Fantastic Pit – Georgia, USA
Some prefer to call it a crack, others claim it is a vertical cave, the deeper in the USA. In fact, it’s part of Ellison’s Cave, in the opposite side of its similar Incredible Pit.
It is under the tutelage of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, but due to its immense dangers, presently only the most experienced cavers can cross it. The example most often used to describe its depth, is that if we throw a stone into it, it takes 8 seconds to hit the ground.
https://youtu.be/tfKKeDe4Tmw width=”853″ height=”480″
11. Eisriesenwelt Ice Caves – Werfern, Austria
Located in Werfen (Austria), Eisriesenwelt, which in German means “Land of the Ice Giants”, is the largest formation of ice caves in the world!
It was discovered in 1879 by scientist Anton Posselt, but only in 1920 it became a tourist attraction, when a route was created by mountain explorers. This cave has about 42 km, but only one kilometer is open to visitors.
It offers an impressive natural spectacle! Their ice formations result from low temperatures and from water currents that penetrate the mountain.
Eisriesenwelt Ice Caves receives 200,000 visitors annually!
https://youtu.be/Tfyoq0QoahM width=”853″ height=”480″
12. Majlis al Jinn Cave – Muscat, Oman
Majlis Al Jinn Cave is located in a remote area of the Selma Plateau, Sultanate of Oman, 1380 m above sea level. It is one of several caves in the Selma Plateau, formed by fossiliferous carbonate rocks.
It was discovered in June 1983 by Americans Don W. Davison, Jr. and his wife, Cheryl S. Jones. Until recently there was no way to get there by car. It is penetrable by one of the three entries in the vertical roof.
While the surface temperature may exceed 40°C, the air temperature in the chamber is a constant 17-18°C, and the water entering the cave accumulates in the lowest part of the floor. Then infiltrates or vaporizes slowly.
The ceiling of the cave is only about 40 m thick over most of the cave. The deepest part of the cave is 178 m below the top of higher input.
Need to see it to understand its beauty!
https://youtu.be/jgo_wVDOiTI width=”853″ height=”480″
13. Puerto Princesa Underground River – Palawan, Philippines
Puerto Princesa Underground River, in Palawan, Philippines, was considered UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature!
It has a huge 300 m cave dome, unbelievable rock formations, and an underground river, the longest navigable underground river in the world!
Circulates 8.2 km beneath a mountain range, through the St. Paul Underground River Cave, and then goes out to the South China Sea.
Definitely a must-see tour!
https://youtu.be/XE7b0m44snY width=”853″ height=”480″
14. Onondaga Cave – Missouri, USA
Also this cave is traversed by an underground river. Around it, was built Onondaga Cave State Park, Leasburg, Missouri, United States.
Descending into the depths of Onondaga Cave State Park, the visitor can enjoy the guided tours into the underground wonderland, and get fully delighted with the towering stalagmite, dripping stalactites and other active flowstones.
https://youtu.be/16S_bzk66rQ width=”853″ height=”480″
15. Deer Cave – Borneo, Malaysia
Deer Cave is a massive cave that boasts the largest cave entrance in the world, found in 1961 by G.E. Wilford. It belongs to the World Heritage Area of Gunung Mulu in Malaysian Borneo.
Known by the locals as “Gua Payau” or “Gua Rusa”, the walk into the cave is along a mountainside pathway, which received the name from the deer that came to lick its salt-bearing rocks and used it as their shelter.
https://youtu.be/YUDCPmDqkiE width=”853″ height=”480″
16. Škocjan Caves – Trieste, Slovenia
The Škocjan Caves also entered on UNESCO’s list of natural and cultural world heritage sites in 1986!
It attracts year-round tourists and visitors, ranking among the most important caves in the world.
The cave system consists of the Reka River, which goes underground and represents one of the longest “karst” underground wetlands in Europe. In some places the surfaces of galleries on various levels collapsed and have the appearance of deep abysses.
The cave has five galleries and a canal. A gallery of stalactites and stalagmites leads to surface. In total, there are 25 waterfalls along the river.
https://youtu.be/8sKIAuEu19E width=”853″ height=”480″
17. Barton Creek Cave – Cayo, Belize
Barton Creek is a large river cave possibly over 7.5 km long, it is not only a popular tourist destination, but an archaeological site as well.
Recent investigations found information toward our understanding of the importance of caves within Maya culture, due to a number of pottery shards that have been discovered dating as far back 200 AD along with the remains of 28 humans.
https://youtu.be/UvxOy-6BWrs width=”853″ height=”480″
18. Phong Nha Cave – Minh Hoa, Vietnam
The “Phong Nha Nature Reserve” is adjacent to Hin Namno Karst Lao PDR. It is situated on the edge of the plateau Phong Nha/Ke Bang karst in central Vietnam. Phong Nha contains many large and spectacular caves. Scientists surveyed only 20 of them.
Held several records including the largest caverns and passageways before the discovery of Son Doong Cave.
The karst landscape is extremely complex and ancient with high geodiversity and some geomorphological features of great importance.
https://youtu.be/BqLsU1cQLm8 width=”853″ height=”480″
19. Carlsbad Caverns – New Mexico, USA
Located in the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, area of the Chihuahuan Desert in southeastern New Mexico, near the base of the Guadalupe Mountains, is a show cave that is open to public all throughout the year except for Christmas.
Carlsbad Caverns were also proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. Includes a large cave chamber named the “Big Room”, a natural limestone formation, which you must see to believe.
It is considered the 3rd largest chamber in North America and the 7th in the world!
https://youtu.be/UvxOy-6BWrs width=”853″ height=”480″
20. Harrison’s Cave – Allen View, Barbados
We can say that Harrison’s Cave is a natural underground labyrinth!
Although historical references were made to Harrison’s Cave from as early as the eighteenth century, no serious exploration of the cave was done until 1970, when begun the survey and map of the cave. Is was opened to the public in 1981.
The hallways are naturally large and in some parts of the ceiling is so high that not even seem real. Throughout the cave, drops of water fall from the stalactites. It is a bustling tourist spot, accessible to audiences of all ages.
https://youtu.be/CgHdT5y-Xqo width=”853″ height=”480″
Since immemorial time, man is attracted by caves, either as temporary or permanent shelter or as a magical religious site dedicated to the incantation of enemies or worship of gods.
Many times are also considered as the antechamber of hell or place of activity related to black magic.
They capture our attention causing curiosity, inviting us for a simple curious look, for a sporting tour visit or for a patient and determined work of study and scientific research.
We hope we were able to satisfy some of your curiosity, and that you enjoyed this guided tour to the underworld as much as we did!