Humans have explored the surface of Mars, spent time in space, and walked on moon – if you believe such things to be true; you’ve paid for it, that’s for sure. However, we’ve yet to understand our on planet, as we still keep finding stuff here on Earth that we never knew were there.
As recently as 2009 the largest cave in the world was discovered, which is why we’re going to talk about caves and list the most amazing ones out there – known today, that is. Home to strange and fantastic creatures, formed through years of erosion and the earth’s terrible shifting processes, these strange and mesmerizing unexplored regions of the planet teach us about its history, and how it is changing. This is one awesome way to learn, right? Tim for a filed trip!
10. Orda Cave, Russia
The Orda cave is the longest underwater cave in Russia and the only underwater gypsum cave anywhere. Gypsum is that naturally occurring mineral used in construction used by the Egyptians and by us, today. At the water’s surface, the temperature ranges between 27F and -4F., but fifty six feet below it gets down to -10F. The cave is beautiful and over three miles, most of it underwater. Minerals act as a filter, which is why the water is incredibly clear, enabling divers to see ahead of them more than 50 yards and us to enjoy this picture. Dive!
9. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
The Mammoth is 400 miles long and is currently the longest cave in the world. It features a network of caves and is nowhere near being fully mapped yet; hopefully Google is reading this. Some people believe it could be as long as 1000 miles, but we’ll just have to wait and see; records suggest that the first human to enter the cave did so some 4000 years ago, after which the caves were mined for minerals for two thousand years. By the end of 18th century the cave became a tourist attraction where people can camp, bike, go horse riding. Not something common for caves, by the way.
8. Blue Grotto, Italy
This beautiful and superb deep blue may be enjoyed after you get a local fisherman to row you out around the island to the cave – please, watch your head as you enter. For hundreds of years the blue caverns of Capri have been a place of quiet reflection for visitors; these days, it may be best to visit out of season. No matter the time, this place is definitely worth your attention.
7. Eisriesenwelt Cave, Austria
At thirty miles in length, Eisriesenwelt – translated “world of the ice giants” – is the world’s largest ice cave. But only the first half mile or so is ice, and that’s the bit tourists can visit. The rest of it is left fr professionals. Located at the rim of the largest plateau in the Alps, the Karst Plateau, this caves allows about 200,000 tourists each year to enjoy its wonderful setting. Before its official discovery in 1879, it had been unofficially discovered only by locals, which apparently doesn’t count. Don’t ask me why, it’s just weird. However, the locals consider the cave to be the entrance to hell. This reminds me of that saying, “when hell freezes over”.
6. Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
Part of the Waitomo cave system, the Glowworms cave features the larvae stage of a two-winged insect, as they glow in order to attract food and burn off waste. Simply put, this is the entomological equivalent of lighting farts. But the Arachnocampa Luminosa, as the worm was formally named, doesn’t really think about that and it’s only found here in New Zealand. They survive in damp dark places where their light can be seen, so the cave is perfect for a romantic time, if you don’t mind taking a boat ride under them. I’m not sure about the smell, though.
5. Marble Caves, Chile
It seems that six thousand years of waves splashing against calcium carbonite doesn’t seem that boring, at least not as you enjoy the results. The stunning marble walls of these caves may only be enjoyed by boat. And to reach the boat you have to take a plane from Santiago, then drive two hundred miles across dirt. I’m not sure how many people are willing to go that far, but the Marble Caves are waiting.
4. Crystal Cave, Mexico
The Giant Crystal Cave in Mexico contains some of the largest natural gypsum crystals found anywhere, with the largest one we know of close to 40 feet long, and weighing 55 tons. Looking like the collapsed Superman home from the North Pole, the cave, which is connected to a mine, was only discovered in 2000 when miners started drilling for a new tunnel. Due to the high humidity and heat caused by magma below, the cave is largely unexplored. How about a Mars rover, then?
3. Antelope Canyon, Arizona
This one is pretty obvious. These smooth, sensual lines are the result of sand and water, working their way through thousands of years and creating the Antelope Canyon. Antelope is on Navajo land, and the Navajo name is Tse bighanilini, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Forget the name and admire the beauty; do you not realize how unimportant we, humans, are by comparison?
2. Datdawtaung Cave, Myanmar
Legend says that locals once hid from Genghis Kahn in this cave. If that’s true or not, I’m not the one to decide. But what’s certain is that today the cave is more of a meditation area for monks, since a Buddhist temple has been built on a cliff at the entrance. The cave is open to tourists, although few decide to visit. So if you’re looking to find yourself in a place of transcendent meditation, this might be somewhere to get lost in first. Who knows, maybe some Kung Fu masters will guide you and let you loos upon your enemies.
1. Reed Flute Cave, China
More than 180 million years old, inscriptions on the cave walls date back as far as 792 AD to the Tang Dynasty, which is the one right before the Sunny Delight Dynasty. This is all fine and dandy, but the limestone cave that has since been fitted with multicolored lighting. That’s what cool kids these days care about, right? The cave gets its name from the reeds that grow at the cave’s entrance, which for the musically inclined can be made into flutes. The cave is full of stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations in strange and beautiful shapes. You just couldn’t imagine what this cave was witness to throughout its existence!