We lived in there. We built temples and worshipped our gods inside. We made it a school for children, or we used it for tourism. Some of them have been known for centuries, others have been newly discovered, but all of them are stunning in some way. Some of them are under the ground, others under the water. They are equally unique and people get stunned every time they see them. Welcome into the mind-blowing “underworld”. In this article you will discover 18 biggest and most impressive caves you can find on earth. 18 caves that will give you a memorable experience and make you shout loud wow.
1. Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Formed 30 million years ago, these are limestone formations representing one of the most inspiring natural wonders and a must-see destination in New Zealand. One of them is the “Glowworm Cave” where you can admire the Arachnocampa luminosa tiny creatures living only in this place.
2. Batu Caves, Malaysia
Located near Kuala Lampur, they are a magnificent series of caves and cave temples with the 42.7m high giant golden statue of Murugan standing in the entrance. This is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India.
3. Deer Cave, Malaysia
Once known as the largest cave in the world, it’s over 2km long and 90m wide and high. The main chamber was used by deer as a shelter and that’s the origin of its name.
4. Son Doong Cave, Vietnam
It’s located in the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in the Quang Binh province of Central Vietnam. It’s been explored recently in 2009 and opened to the public just in 2013. The cave is so massive that a Boeing 747 could fly through its largest cavern. People who enter there can find stalagmites, statuesque stalactites, ancient fossils, jungles that emerge from inside the cave, misty clouds, winds, a complete localised weather system.
5. Datdawtaung Cave, Myanmar
Due to the difficulty to reach the area, the cave is not visited a lot, but hosts a big secret and hidden Buddhist temple.
6. Reed Flute Cave Ludi Yan /loo-dee yen/), China
A fascinating gallery of natural sculptures. It’s over 180 million years old and is 240 meters (787 feet) long. This limestone formation is full of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites, and rock formations featuring amazing and bizarre shapes. Historic inscriptions found inside prove that the cave was known already in 792 AD, during the Tang Dynasty.
7. Dongzhong Cave, China
It was formed from thousands of years of carving by wind, water, and seismic shifts, but since 1984 local people of Miao village used it as an elementary school, due to lack of resources. In 2011 the Chinese government closed it and built, fortunately, a modern facility they can now use, instead of the cave.
8. Orda Cave, Russia
A gypsum crystal cave found underneath the western Ural Mountains. 5.1 kilometres long, with over 4.8 kilometres being underwater, this is one of the longest underwater gypsum caves in the world. Marine photographers would feel like in heaven if they went there thanks to a very clean water with over 50 yards (46m) of visibility.
9. Krubera Cave (or Voronya Cave), Abkhazia, Georgia
It’s known as the deepest cave on Earth, with an explored depth of over 2,000m (6,600ft).
10. Eisriesenwelt Cave, Austria
It’s defined the world’s largest ice cave with its 48 km of length. But be aware that only the first 800m are made of ice.
11. Blue Grotto, Capri, Italy
A sea cave on the coast of the island of Capri, southern Italy. The blue colour is created by the sunlight passing through an underwater cavity.
12. Fingal’s Cave, Scotland
A Sea cave on the Staffa island (uninhabited). It’s known for its natural acoustics. The peculiar feature? It’s formed entirely from hexagonally jointed basalt columns within a Paleocene lava flow.
13. Vatnajokull Ice Cave, Iceland
Vatnajokull is the largest glacier in Europe and is located in South East Iceland. Underneath it rests an active volcano and the heat it generates created a cave that can be explored unlike the others which are, instead, full of flowing water. Despite that, the presence of an active volcano makes this cave quite dangerous to explore.
14. Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA
It’s one of the most photographed canyons. The erosion of the local Navajo sandstone created such a beautiful natural show, attracting loads of tourists from all around the world.
15. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, USA
A majestic, dark and unique place. This is the world’s longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored.
16. Ellison Cave, Georgia, USA
A pit cave located in Walker County, on Pigeon Mountain in the Appalachian Plateaus of Northwest Georgia. Here you can find the deepest hole on earth, the “Fantastic Pit” with its 586ft of depth. If you would like to explore it you must be an experienced climbers in order to gain access.
17. Cave of Crystal Giants, Mexico
It’s been discovered by two miners in 2000 in the Naica Mine of Mexico. They found extraordinary massive crystals measuring up to 12 metres (36ft) and weighting 55 tons. To know how it formed, millions of years ago, you can read this article.
18. Marble Caves (Cuevas de Mármol) of Chile Chico
This is an outstanding beautiful set of caves carved by nature into the Patagonian Andes marble. It’s located in a peninsula of solid marble that sits in the Lake General Carrera (a remote glacial lake) and can be reached only by boat. They are formed by 6,000+ years of waves washing up against the calcium carbonate walls, giving them an impressive shape and colour.
Do you like the underworld? Would you do a journey to the centre of the earth? Which cave do you like most?