Step Inside 25 Of The World's Craziest Caves
By Patricia TenaFeatured
eventMay 15, 2017
If you have ever wanted to run away and just escape all the chaos, you're not the only one! While hiding out on an exotic beach is an easy go-to option for some relaxation time, have you ever imagined what it would be like to explore a spectacular one-of-a-kind hidden cave? It's probably never crossed your mind, but that's okay - because we're about to introduce you to the craziest caves in the entire world! Prepare to be amazed.NEXT »
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
If you catch yourself looking for the Big Dipper inside this vast grotto, you're not alone. But what may look like a starry night sky in this cave is actually thousands of glow worms hanging from threads of their own silk, similar to strings of Mardi Gras beads. For what purpose? Just to casually attract and trap flying insects in their silky snares. Imagine what it would be like to fall asleep gazing at this stunning sight!
Cueva De Los Verdes, Canary Islands
This stunning grotto is actually a lava tube that was formed by flowing lava some 3,000 years ago. But perhaps the coolest part of this cave is the concert hall, located near the entrance and exit, which can hold up to 500 people at a time. In earlier times, the cave was used as the ultimate hideout for inhabitants seeking protection from European pirates and Muslim slave raiders. However, this doesn't seem like too bad of a hiding spot!
Reed Flute Cave, China
This fascinating cave, enhanced by dazzling multicolored lighting that makes hearts sing, is filled with natural rock formations of all sorts of strange and beautiful shapes and sizes. It's also home to more than 70 inscriptions written in ink that date as far back as the Tang Dynasty in 792 AD. No wonder millions of tourists have visited the site - those striking colors must be absolutely incredible to witness in person!
Cuevas De Mármol, Patagonia
These pure marble caves have been dubbed the most beautiful network of caves in the world. The stunning 6,000-year-old sculpture was formed by crashing waves of Lake General Carrera, bathing the grottos in deep blue water that changes hues depending on the weather and season and creating the walls of swirling patterns that can put any eyes at ease. It would be so easy to relax if you could just gaze at the incredible detail of this cave all day long!
Cave Of The Crystals, Mexico
This massive cave, otherwise known as Giant Crystal Cave, is home to some of the largest crystals in the world, the biggest being 39-feet-long and weighing a whopping 55 tons! The reflective beauties were formed more than 500,000 years ago when a chamber of magma heated things up, filling the groundwater with minerals. Just be careful if you ever have the chance to visit this one, as those huge crystals seem rather sharp!
Fingal's Cave, Scotland
The awe-inspiring Fingal's Cave, located on the uninhabited island of Staffa, is popularly known for its natural acoustics that echo throughout - the Celts know the site as "The Cave of Melody." And unlike any other cave, it boasts visually astounding hexagonal columns of basalt stone that are shaped into pillars and line the walls. Visitors can reach it by boat and take a tour from April through September - not too shabby of a vacation, right?
Batu Caves, Malaysia
Not only are the Batu Caves a popular Malaysian climbing site, they're also a famed Hindu shrine where offerings are left for Lord Murugan at the end of a procession during Thaipusam, a Hindu festival. The site is also a popular place for monkeys that won't let a second pass by without biting tourists if they feel their territory is being invaded. On second thought, this one is probably better to just admire from the photos!
Blue Grotto, Capri
This cavernous wonder is a sea cave located on the coast of Italy's Capri island. As you can see, sunlight that passes through the underwater cavity shines through the water and creates a calming and vibrant blue reflection. To enter the Blue Grotto, explorers must lie flat on the bottom of a small rowboat and attach a chain to the cave walls to make their way through the tiny mouth. While this may seem like a lot of effort, we can guarantee seeing this cave in person makes it all worth it!
Sea Lion Caves, Oregon
This privately owned wildlife preserve is the largest sea cave in America and the year-round home of hundreds of Steller sea lions. But the pups of the sea aren't the only non-humans you'll find here, the high vault of the cave also serves as a resting place for sea birds. Plus, orcas migrate past the grotto once a year. Luckily for visitors, there's a whale-watching deck! If you're an animal-lover, then this is definitely a cave that you will want to see.
Bears' Cave, Romania
Legend has it that this cave, not discovered until 1975, was once the home to over 100 bears. It's said that a rock covered its entryway, trapping and ultimately killing 140 bears that were left inside. Today, visitors can check out the Bears Gallery and take a gander at all of the preserved bear skulls. While this cave may seem a bit morbid to some, it's definitely an interesting site to visit for all of the historians out there!
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
Hidden beneath the rocky canyons, flowering cacti, and ancient sea ledges of the Chihuahuan Desert lies over 119 known caves of various sizes. Visitors here can check out a designated "adventure caving tour" in one of the many undeveloped caves or head into one of three developed grottos - one of them even has an elevator! Once you set foot in these caves you will be sure to think you're walking straight into a movie scene.
Surprise Cave, Vietnam
This beauty is considered the most magnificent cave in the Halong Bay, named after the first feeling its visitors experience when they enter into all its glory. Its vast area is decorated by colorful stalactites that dangle from the ceiling like icicles and a floor filled with rocks that take the shape of everything from elephants to flowers. Yep, we can definitely say we agree with this cave's given name!
Ik Kil, Mexico
This swimming hole is the destination of your dreams. Ik Kil, a cenote - a natural pit or sinkhole formed from collapsed limestone bedrock - is literally a giant hole in the ground filled with water that reaches about 130 feet deep. To access the massive hole 85 feet below the ground, adventure-seekers have to make their way down a circular staircase carved from the limestone first - but once you get there, this cave's beauty makes it all worth it!
Callao Cave, Philippines
Located in the Cagayan Valley of the Philippines, this cave consists of seven chambers with natural crevices that provide perfect lighting - might be a great place to snap a remarkable photo! While the chambers might appear to be a bit intimidating, many locals use the largest of the seven, called the Cathedral, as a chapel. They just have to climb 184 concrete stairs first - talk about a serious dedication to practicing your faith!
Crystal Cave, Bermuda
A local legend says this cavernous beauty was discovered by two 12-year-old boys in their search a cricket ball they lost in the grass. The 500-meter-long underground cave is now the most famous of its kind in Bermuda, boasting spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, and deep, crystal-clear pools. And because beauty should never be hidden, visitors can also stand in awe at the sub-tropical garden with various species of trees and flowers just outside of the cave.
Stephens Gap, Alabama
The only way to enter this vertical cave is by either repelling from the 143-foot drop through a keyhole or by making a dangerous descent down rocks through a second entrance. No matter the case, you might get splashed by the beautiful waterfall that enters the cavern near its ceiling! But hey, if you're venturing to this cave on a hot summer day, a cascade of cold water falling on you doesn't seem so bad.
Jewel Cave, South Dakota
The first recorded discovery of this fascinating grotto was in 1900 when Frank and Albert Michaud wrote about cold air spewing out of one of its holes. To this day, researchers are still discovering an average of three miles of passageways in the cave each year. Its most prominent feature? The stunning calcite crystals that hang from the ceiling. When you envision a traditional cave, this sight is surely what first comes to mind!
Majlis Al Jinn, Oman
This grotto, better known by locals as Khoshilat Maqandeli, is the second largest known cave chamber in the world (when measured by its surface area). The only way to gain inside access here is through a free descent from one of three vertical entrances, like Cheryl's Drop, where you can repel 158 feet into the chamber. Checking out an incredible cave and going free-falling all in one day? Now that's an adventure!
Minnehaha Falls, Minnesota
This temporary cave is formed behind a wall of ice each wintry season when a 53-foot waterfall freezes. During the early and late days of winter, visitors can find a stunning, multicolored rainbow lighting up their world behind the ice. And the calming sound of flowing water as it begins to freeze or melt isn't half-bad either. Just be sure to bundle up before you decide to camp out here on a frigid cold night!
Tadrart Acacus Desert Caves, Algeria
Situated between the Acacus Mountains near the border of Algeria are some of the most stunning caves containing artistic paintings and carvings that date from 12,000 BC to 100 AD. The area was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 because of the importance of the cultural art. Artwork of both animals and people are depicted in various situations along the walls, reflecting the lifestyle of a time we can never learn enough about.
Badami Caves, India
The Badami Cave Temples of Karnataka, India have some of the most stunning Indian rock-cut architecture from the sixth and seventh centuries that you'll ever see. The largest of the caves, Cave 3, features the most intricate carvings in the complex, dedicated to Vishnu-related mythology. So, not only will a visit to this spectacular cave earn you a beautiful sight, but you'll also learn a thing or two about India's history!
Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
This incredibly vast grotto is the longest cave system in the world, boasting a staggering 390 miles of caves that have already been explored and even more that haven't been! It's also a World Heritage Site. Guide Stephen Bishop called the cave a "grand, gloomy and peculiar place." Be sure to check out Frozen Niagara, Fat Man's Misery, and make your way through wilder sections of muddy crawls and dusty tunnels.
Blue Caves Zakynthos, Greece
One of the most famous natural attractions on the Greek Ionian island of Zakynthos are the stunning Blue Caves, named after the beautiful blue waters inside of them. Even objects below the surface look blue, including people taking a refreshing dip. Most of the caves can only be accessed by boat, whereas you'll need to be an expert swimmer or diver to reach the others. Wouldn't mind going for a swim here on a hot summer day!
Jenolan Caves, Australia
These grottos are the oldest (discovered) open system in the world and the first to have electric lighting installed in them, a feat completed in 1880. You can experience the amazing underworld through any of the 10 show caves by guided tours or take on a more challenging route if you're up for crawling, squeezing, and climbing in undeveloped areas like a true adventurer - just be prepared to get down and dirty!
Qumran Caves, Israel
This amazing cave system, made up of both natural and artificial limestone caves, is the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were first discovered back in 1947. Though the ruins are typically off limits to the public, visitors who can't get enough of a great history lesson can walk along the site and even get a view of the Dead Sea in some parts. These caves are an easy choice of destination for those looking to brushen up a bit on their Dead Sea knowledge!