Caves are underground openings, large enough for a human to enter, they usually extend deep underground. The formation of caves is called speleogenesis. Caves are formed naturally or dug by humans. Natural Caves are formed because of number of natural factors like atmospheric influences, erosion from water, tectonic forces, microorganisms, chemical processes and pressure.
Caves are found all over the world. Many of them are yet to be discovered. For centuries caves have been used by human race as shelter and even religious sites. Today they are used for sightseeing and cave diving. Some of the caves are converted into tourist attractions where artificial lighting, floors, and food point are set for maximum enjoyment.
Here is our list of world’s 5 most amazing caves, one must visit.
Eisriesenwelt is a German word which literally means “World of the Ice Giants”. Eisriesenwelt Cave is a natural cave made out of limestone. It is located in Werfen, Austria, about 40 km south of Salzburg. Eisriesenwelt Cave is the largest ice cave in the world. It extends more than 42 kilometers.
Eisriesenwelt cave is almost 100 million years old. Eisriesenwelt Cave was formed by River Salzach as it flowed through the mountain grinding down the passageways. The cracks and splits in the limestone developed, as the river eroded away the rocks over the passage of time. The deeper areas of the cave have very low temperature because of the cold air streaming into the cave from outside, in winters. The temperature is usually below freezing point. During spring season when the snow is melting, it trickles through the crevices in the rocks and as it reaches the low temperature area, it forms beautiful icicles.
The first kilometer of the cave is open for tourists and it is covered with ice, rest of the cave is formed of limestone. The first kilometer of the cave stays icy throughout the year. In winters, chilly winds from outside freezes the snow into ice and in summers, cold wind from the deeper and chilled part of the cave blows towards the entrance which keeps the ice from melting.
The cave was first discovered by Anton Posselt, it was then only known by locals. They used to think that it is a doorway to hell and that is why never explored it. Today Eisriesenwelt Cave is visited by over 200,000 tourists every year.
Reed Flute Cave
Reed Flute Cave also called ‘Ludi Yan’, is located in Northwest of Guilin in South of China. It is also referred as “the Palace of Natural Arts”. Reed flute cave is known for its artistic beauty. It is a gallery of natural sculptures made out of limestone. The cave got its name from the reeds that grew in front of it that are used to make flutes.
Reed flute cave is 240 meters long, with a different wonder of natural art at each step. It is city’s third most famous tourism spot. Tourists feast their eyes with different kind of splendid stalactites, stalagmites and stone pillars as they walk through u-shaped route of the cave. The beauty of the cave is enhanced by artificial lightings which make it look like an underground palace full of expensive art pieces.
Cave of the Giant Crystals
Cave of the Crystals is located in Mexico. It is known for its extraordinary crystals. It is located 1000 feet down the “Naica Mine”. The mine was discovered in 1794. The mine consists of lead, zinc and silver. Large amount of crystals has been found within the cave with sizes up to 4 feet in diameter and 50 feet in length. Another chamber of the Naica mine called “The cave of Swords” , located 400 feet under themine, consists of similar crystals.
From the discovery till 1900 the main interest was silver and gold. But as zinc and lead became more valuable, large scale mining began.
Puerto Princesa Underground River
Puerto Princesa Underground River is located near the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. Puerto Princesa Underground River is the most noteworthy area of Philippines. It has spectacular limestone which comprises of Underground River that is 8.2 kilometers long. The river flows directly into the ocean and lower half of the river is salty and influenced by tide. Puerto Princesa Underground River is the largest navigable underground river in the world. It is very easy and convenient to experience.
It is also said to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Waitomo Caves are located in North Island of New Zealand. The word Waitomo means “water passing through a hole”. These caves are nearly two million years old. The Waitomo caves are huge tourist attraction since 1900. The caves are known for their stalactite and stalagmite displays, and for the presence of glowworms. Glowworms are luminescent beetles.
These caves are not only wonderful but also mysterious in their own ways. One would miss a huge part of the world not visiting them.
Categorised in: Amazing Places
This post was written by Editorial Staff