10 longest caves in the world

At the top of the earth's crust, there are hollows that connect to the surface. These are caves; they consist of a complex system of passages and halls. Speleologists study caves. There are different types of caves, but the most common are karst caves. They are the longest and deepest. This type of cave is formed when water melts some rocks. Therefore, they form where there are deposits of soluble rocks.

The longest cave in the world is located in the USA. Many caves have water: streams, rivers, lakes and even waterfalls. Most of them have air and are breathable. They even have tour groups in some of them.

We present the 10 longest caves in the world - a list of natural underground passages of the globe, stunning in their beauty.

  • 10. Hölloch, 201 946 m

    The longest cave in Europe is located in the northern foothills of the Glarus Alps in Switzerland. This is Hölloch Cave. Its depth is also impressive - 939 meters.

    The cave was discovered in 1875 and it has two entrances. The second upper entrance was opened quite recently, in 1980. The lower part of the cave is accessible to visitors. In summer, there are severe floods, so a significant part of the tunnels remains under water.

  • 9. Lechugilya, 222,572 m

    Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located in the Guadalupe mountain range in the United States, or rather in New Mexico. Here you can see not only one of the longest, but also the deepest caves in the United States. This cave is Lechugilia. Until 1986, this cave was called "Misery Pit". Once it was a small well, the depth of which did not exceed 25 m, going down it, one could get into a system of tunnels stretching for 120 m.

    In 1984, cavers received permission to excavate, and two years later a new part of the cave was discovered. Now it is also called the canyon, which has an entrance. It got its name due to the widespread type of agave - Agave lechuguilla.

    This cave is unique, it is characterized by many deposits of crystalline minerals. Some of them are amazing, such as giant plaster "chandeliers" up to 6 meters in size.

    You can learn more about the cave by watching the BBC documentary from “Planet Earth” series 4 “Caves” is also dedicated to Lechugili.

  • 8. Gua Air Jernih, 227,009 m

    In the mountain range of Kalimantan, in Malaysia, there is a cave Gua Air Jernih. It was discovered in 1978 by English cavers. There are many entrances; the main one can be reached from the river by boat.

    It is a multi-storey limestone cave system. It is considered the longest in Asia. The cave system has 5 levels, at the bottom of which there is a river of caves.

  • 7. Wind Cave, 237 716 m

    In the Black Hills, in the USA, in South Dakota, you can admire the Cave of the Wind. It is known since 1881, formed in limestone under the influence of thermal waters. It is a huge labyrinth with many tunnels. The Grotta del Vento is rich in minerals.

    Its natural entrance is small in diameter, only 0.35 m. In order for tourists to visit the cave, an additional channel was cut. Now anyone can visit it by descending into the depths of the cave in an elevator. Tours are regularly organized here.

    But anyone who wants to walk through its tunnel should take warm clothes with them, because cold wind always blows here. It was thanks to the wind that unique calcite deposits were formed here, intertwining into incredibly beautiful patterns. In 1903, the territory of the cave became a national park.

  • 6. Shuanghedong, 238,479 m

    In the Suiyang mountain range, located in China, in the province of Guizhou, there is an extensive cave system - Shuanghedong. Its research has been ongoing since 1987. During this time, it was visited by more than 20 expeditions from different countries, including Japan, France and, of course, China.

    The cave appeared from gypsum and dolomite. There are at least three rivers flowing here, forming waterfalls and lakes. They have fish and shrimp. Some fish weigh more than one kilogram. Salamanders, frogs, various insects, including spiders, and bats can be found in the cave.

  • 5. Optimistic Cave, 257,000 m

    In the Podolsk ridge, which is located on the territory of Ukraine, you can visit a cave with an interesting name "Optimistic". This is one of the longest gypsum caves in the world. So far, it has not been fully explored.

    The cave was opened in 1966. It was discovered by accident. In 1965, cavers from the “Cyclops” Club explored the Wind Cave, located near the village of Korolovka. They drew attention to the stream going underground. Speleologists returned here a year later, having examined 400 m of the cave. Further research has shown that this is one of the longest known caves.

    The name "Optimistic" was born because skeptical fellow cavers called them "optimists". After that, there were more than 200 departures. You can admire the stalactites in the cave. Its passages are located at a depth of 20 m.

  • 4. Ox Bel Ha, 270 200 m

    In the Tulum massif, extending into the expanses of Mexico, in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula, there is a cave called Ox Bel Ha. Its name translates as "Three Ways of Water". This is a huge system of underwater caves related to karst. It was opened in 1996.

    The peculiarity of this cave is a huge number of entrances, at least 140. Until now, it has not been fully explored, but more than 80 branches have already been discovered. Getting there is not so easy, because all the passages of Bel Ha oaks are flooded, and some undercurrents overlook the Caribbean Sea.

    It can only be explored by divers. These undercurrents have a huge impact on the flora and fauna, thanks to which exotic plants can be found here.

  • 3. Jewel Cave, 310 732 m

    In the Black Hills massif, located in the USA, in South Dakota, you can see the Jewel Karst cave, or, as it is also called, Jewel. It has only one natural entrance. Strong winds blow here, the speed of which reaches 15 m / s. All galleries of the cave are covered with a layer of calcite, the thickness of which reaches 17 cm, which is why it has an unusual appearance.

    It was opened in 1900 and 8 years after the opening it became a national monument. Researchers Albert and Franck Michaud wondered where the howling wind was coming from and discovered a small hole in the canyon.

    Despite the fact that it was discovered a very long time ago, its large-scale study began relatively recently. If you wish, you can go down and see everything on your own, because excursions are organized here. An artificial entrance has been created for visitors, some of the galleries and passages are equipped with bridges.

  • 2. Sac-Actun, 346 740 m

    In the mountains of Tulum in Mexico the incredible cave of Sac Actun is located. Almost everything here is filled with water. The cave system is located in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula. It wasn't easy to prove that it was that big.

    Other cave systems were also explored, and over time it was found that all of them are connected with Sac-Actun, which has become one of the longest caves in the world. Its name translates as "White Grotto".

    This is a bewitching sight: clear water, in which catfish, piranhas swim, surrounded by unusual stalactites. There are also many huge goliath spiders and bats. For those who want to see everything with their own eyes, there is a special tourist route.

  • 1. Mammoth Cave, 651 784 m

    The longest cave is located in the Appalachian massif, in the USA, it is called "Mammoth" Cave, it belongs to the karst caves. It was formed in a layer of limestone. Until now, it has not been fully explored, only 587 km have been explored, where about 20 large halls and the same number of deep mines have been discovered.

    It is called so because from English the word "mammoth" can be translated as "huge". It is because of its size that it got its name.

    The cave was discovered in 1797, but before that time people lived here, which is proved by the mummies found. It has a rich history, changed its owners over several centuries, and in 1941 a national park was created here.

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