We see beautiful places almost everywhere we go in the mesmerizing nature: giant mountains, plains filled with blooming flowers, scary jungles and lush forests. All are special forms of nature’s manifestation and make up an experience that should not be missed. But how often do we venture into the world below us? In case we are not speleologists or troglodytes, the answer is certainly “not too often”.
Those who say the underground world is a terrifying place have probably never visited the most impressive and beautiful caves of the world, some of which were formed along thousands, and even millions of years in some cases.
Mammoth Cave – Kentucky, United States
This is one of the oldest known caves on the territory of the United States. It is also the world’s longest system of natural tunnels with an underground network of 587 km. The Mammoth Cave, which became a national park in 1941, is named after its discovery by American settlers in the late 18th century, but has been known to indigenous tribes for thousands of years.
Caves of Lascaux – France
These caves date back to thousands of years ago, and have been recently discovered. It is estimated that they are 16,000 years old, and they feature hundreds of drawings on their walls that illustrate some of the creatures that lived in the Stone Age. The largest wall drawings are up to five meters long. Although anyone can enjoy seeing these drawings through the Internet, it is a shame that the caves are currently inaccessible to tourists and the public, because of a destructive fungus that attacked the drawings.
Thylacoleo Caves – Australia
In 2002, an expedition organized by the Western Australian Museum was launched to investigate people’s reports of large-scale skeletons observed in the cave caves in the desert country of the continent, known as the Nullarbor Plain. The remains of dozens of extinct animals in the Australian megafauna, dating back over 500,000 years, have been discovered here for the first time in history.
Accidentally discovered by a certain Jim White in the late 1890s, this colossal, limestone enclosure has a length of nearly 1220 meters, a width of 190 and a height of 107 meters. Unlike most of the limestone caves, the Carlsbad Caverns were formed by strong sulfuric acid, due to the proximity of oil and natural gas deposits. Be cautious, though, in this cave you find no less than hundreds of thousands of bats!
Crystal Caves – Mexico
One of the most spectacular caves in the world, it was recently discovered in April 2000. A group of miners in the Mexican Chihuahua found a large cave filled with water during excavation. It’s a beautiful place with crystal-like formations that make for beautiful pictures to return home with.
Skocjan Caves – Slovenia
These caves have been listed in the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage since 1986 and are regarded as one of Earth’s most important natural treasures. The cave system is magnificent, close to the Grand Canyon, the Great Barrier Reef, the Galapagos Islands and Mount Everest. The exceptional volume of the sub-teluric canyon is what really distinguishes Skocjan from other caves around the world. The 3.5-kilometer long channel has a width of 10 to 60 meters and a height of over 140 meters.