Our planet is full of wonders and Natural beauty you can hardly believe actually exist. Here I have a collection of the most amazing caves in the world. Many were formed million years ago, but their colors and size still impress us. Most of these stunning caves have been explored and are open to the public.
1. Son Doong Cave, Vietnam
Image credits: National Geographic
Son Doong Cave in Vietnam , the world’s largest currently known cave, was found by a local man named Ho-Khanh in 1991.
The biggest chamber of Son Doong is more than 5 km (3.1 mi) long, 200 m (660 ft) high and 150 m (490 ft) wide.
Want to explore it? If yes you can for only US$3,000!
2. Ice Cave Near The Mutnovsky Volcano, Russia
Located on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia, the almost kilometer long tunnel was formed by a hot water spring flowing beneath the glacial ice fields on the flanks of the nearby Mutnovsky volcano.
3. Naica Mine, Mexico
Image credit: nicole_denise
In 2000 miners working in the silver and lead mine at Naica, Mexico accidentally discovered the Naica Mine caves that contain the largest crystals known in the world. The largest crystals are over 11 meters long (36 feet) and weigh 55 tons. The Cave of Crystals, where these crystals are located, lies approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) below the surface in the limestone host rock of the mine. Due to its depth, heat and other issues the Crystal Cave is closed to the public.
4. Vatnajokull Glacier Cave, Iceland
This cave is located in Iceland’s Vatnajokull Glacier, it covers eight per cent of Iceland and is the largest glacier in Europe. Caves like these form due to melting glacial ice water. Since glaciers are constantly breaking and changing they can be dangerous so I wouldn’t suggest you to visit this cave. But if you are brave and want to visit it you can have a guided tour for about US$100.
5. Batu Caves, Malaysia
Image credits: Danny Xeero
The 400 million years old Batu Caves in Malaysia have been used by English and Chinese settlers as well as the indigenous Temuan people. They are considered sacred place for the Hindu’s in Malaysia. The bat guano in the cave was mined for agricultural purposes, but now the cave is filled with statues and is open to visitors.
6. Mendenhall Glacier Cave, USA
Image credit: Kent Mearig
The Mendenhall Glacier, a 12-mile-long glacier in the Mendenhall Valley, is located only 12 miles from downtown Juneau in Southeast Alaska. The cave was carved out of the glacier by melting ice water. Due to the ever-changing conditions at glaciers, it is unclear whether this cave will still be around for long. So hurry up if you want to visit it.
The Ice Caves are inside the glacier, accessible only to those willing to kayak to, and then ice climb over the glacier.
7. Cave in Algarve, Portugal
Image credits: Bruno Carlos
The stunning Algarve Cave is accessible only by water and attracts hundreds of visitors each summer.
8. Glowworms Cave, New Zealand
Image credit: waitomo
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are very young (12,000 years) and are still being carved out by the force of the river that flows through them. The thousands of glowworms in the subterranean darkness produce an extraordinary glittering display. Definitely a must-see destination.
9. Tham Lod Cave, Thailand
Image credits: John Spies
Fifteen minutes from Soppong, in northern Thailand lies Tham Lod cave (length 1,666m), a giant cave with a river running through it. Filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites Tham Lod is home to hundreds of thousands of Pacific swifts that have adapted to spend parts of their lives in caves.
10. Kyaut Sae Cave, Myanmar
Image credit: Leopard
Very little is known about this cave in Kyaut Se, Myanmar, other than that the inside has been fitted as a Buddhist temple.
11. Marble Caves, Patagonia
The Marble Caves in Patagona are known for the spectacular reflections that the turquoise water casts on the white marble ceiling of the cave.
It is a unique geological formation featuring a group of caverns, tunnels and pillars created in monoliths of marble and formed by waves over the last 6,000 years or so. You can travel in a small boat or kayak, (only when the weather is nice and the water is mostly still).
12. Antelope Canyon, USA
Image credits: wikipedia.org, Greg Boratyn
Antelope Canyon in Arizona was formed by thousands of years of persistent wind and flash floods. It has been accessible by guided tours since 1997 and is a very popular destination for photographers and sightseers. Tours range from $35 to $82 per person.
During the desert’s monsoon season, dangerous flash floods can occur without warning from rains that have fallen miles away. Unfortunately on August 12, 1997, eleven tourists were killed in Antelope Canyon by a flash flood.
13. Phraya Nakhon Cave, Thailand
Image credit: Georgi Iashvili
Image credits: Wasitpol Unchanakorrakit
One of Thailand’s most beautiful caves is the Phraya Nakhon cave in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. This cave was discovered about 200 years ago by Chao Praya Nakhon Sri Thammarat while he was searching for a shelter during a storm.
Historically it was a popular visiting place for many kings of Thailand because of the illumination provided by the collapsed roofs. The pavilion in the center was built for the visit of King Chulalongkorn in 1890.
Phraya Nakhon Cave is located about 500 meters from Laem Sala beach and approximately 17 kilometers north from Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Tourists can go to the cave by renting a boat or by walking across Tian Mountain. After that, there is a climb up the mountain about 430 meters to reach the Phraya Nakhon cave.
14. Ellison’s Cave, USA
The Fantastic Cave pit (part of Ellison’s Cave in Georgia, U.S.A) is as deep as two Statues of Liberty stacked on top of each other. It is a popular attraction for pit cavers – those who enjoy rappelling down vertical subterranean drops.
Fantastic Pit has been deadly at times too, taking the lives of two college students in 2011. They both died of hypothermia. Another caver died in 1999, also of hypothermia.
15. Reed Flute Cave, China
Image credit: Peter Stewart
The Reed Flute Cave in Guangxi, China has been one of Guilin’s most interesting attractions for over 1200 years. The over 180 million years old cave is home to a spectacular array of stalagmites and stalactites. It is named for the verdant reeds that grow outside it, which can be made into flutes.
The more than 70 inscriptions on the cave wall (probably dated back to 792 AD) tell us that it has been an attraction in Guilin since ancient times. The Reed Flute Cave was rediscovered in the 1940s by a group of refugees fleeing the Japanese troops.
16. Avshalom Cave, Israel
Image credit: designboom
Avshalom Cave measuring 83m long, 60m wide, and 15m high, reminds one of surreal and even extraterrestrial phenomena,
similar to what one would imagine in the scene of science fiction novel. the formations – some of which are dated at 300, 000 years old –
hang up to four meters long. The cave was accidentally discovered in may 1968, 3km east of bet shemesh while quarrying with explosives,
and named after Avshalom Shoham – an Israeli soldier killed in the war of attrition.
17. Melissani Cave, Greece
Melissani Cave is a magical cave located on the Greek island of Kefalonia, about 2 km from the town of Sami and 10 km from the town of Argostoli. Though this is small in size, this is considered as one of the most amazing and most beautiful spots in the world.
The underground Melissanthi lake was discovered in 1951 by speleontologist Giannis Petrochilo however the entry as we see it at this time wasn’t built until 1963 once the cave was exposed to the general public and started to be one of the primary vacation attractions around the island of Kefalonia
18. Blue Cave of Kastellorizo, Greece
Situated in Europe’s easternmost point, in the tiny Greek island of Megisti (Kastellorizo), the famous Aqua-colored Cave of Kastellorizo is one of the rarest geological phenomena and one of the most amazing formations on Earth. This panoramic sea cave is also known with the name “Parastas hole” or “Fokiali” – due to the seals ( fokia ) that once lived inside. Today the cave is the shelter of an old lonely seal.