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Feel yourself as an ant. Largest and most branched caves on Earth

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The incredible beauty of mineral formations, ancient rock carvings, underground rivers and lakes, flocks of bats and unprecedented fauna - what else can be hidden in the depths of caves? They began to attract people thousands of years ago, it was in the caves that people sheltered from severe weather and equipped their dwellings. Nowadays, mysterious caves attract adventurers who want to walk through dark dungeons and see unique natural artifacts. A large-scale study of some caves allowed to make a lot of amazing discoveries. It turned out that the length of some underground systems is hundreds of kilometers. The most branched and complex cave systems are now available not only to researchers, but also to curious tourists. Walking along them can only be accompanied by a guide. It's very easy to get lost in the intricacies of underground tunnels, but it's almost impossible to get out of the many-kilometer labyrinths to an unprepared person.

Mammoth Cave, USA

Currently, the Mammoth Cave located in United States, in Kentucky, is considered to be the longest and most branched cave in the world. The general length of the examined passages of the Mammoth Cave is about 627 km. Some of their junctions have the depth of 115 meters. The cave structure is incredibly complicated, it contains more than 200 passages, as well as dozens of deep pits and halls of impressive size. It is remarkable that the being discovered in 1797 it is still not fully excavated. According to versions of researching scientists, it was formed more than 10 million years ago.

Mammoth Cave, USA The researchers from the 18th century were not the first people to have discovered the cave. The local Indians used this place for funerals. During the research of the hollow halls, several mummies, as well as rock drawings were discovered. The Mammoth Cave is quite dry compared to other caves. Therefore, there are no stalactites and stalagmites here inside.

The subterranean vault, however, has a lot of other remarkable sights: the beautiful subterranean Styx river and the wonderful Lethe lake, as well as the Echo river, with a part of its river bed on the surfaces. The caves and lakes became the house for the unique inhabitants, which can not be seen in any other water basin on Earth. Only in the Mammoth Cave one can see the special shrimp species, the 'headless albino', as well as different kinds of blind fish and the crabs. A part of the halls and the passages is today equipped with the beautiful illumination. Next - Jewel Cave

Jewel Cave, USA

Jewel Cave, USA In the United States is a well-known cave, to whose honor the popular flash game - Jewel Cave was called. Although the cave was discovered more than a century ago, the great research started relatively recently. So far, about 257 km of the underground vaults have been investigated. The depth of the longest excavated mine forms 193 meters. The unique cave of impressive size has only one natural entrance, which is located in the northwestern part of the labyrinth. Complete article

Son Doong, Vietnam

Son Doong, Vietnam In Vietnam, located on the territory of the national Phong-Nha-kevo Park is one of the largest caves in the world - Son Doong. The cave was accidentally discovered in 1991 by the locals Ho-Hang. When he looked into the underground vault, he heard the strong whistle and hastily left this uncertain place. The wind whistling out of the cave has deterred the locals and the researchers for a long time. In 2009 the British speleologists decided to research the cave. It has been found that the whistling sounds come from the stormy Rao Tuong river. Complete article

Ox Bel Ha, Mexico

Ox Bel Ha, Mexico Ox Bel Ha is one of the largest underwater caves in the world. The length of their explored junctions is more than 256.5 km, and the depth of the cave is 37 meters in some places. The karst cave was discovered in 1996 and has the numerous entrances. At present the scientists know the position of 140 entrances into the cave. This code is not final, however, since the research of the cave still lasts. Complete article

Gouffre Berger, France

Gouffre Berger, France The Gouffre Berger cave, located in France, was discovered in 1953 and was named in honor of the first researcher, Josef Berger. The general length of the high passages is about 32 km. This is the first cave in the world, whose mines were examined at depth of more than 1,000 meters. At present, the maximum depth of the excavated mine is 1 323 meters. Complete article

Optimistic Cave, Ukraine

Optimistic Cave, Ukraine Literally the most optimistic cave (Optymistytschna cave) in the world is located in Ternopol region, in Ukraine. It has the impressive size. The confused tunnels of the cave have the length of more than 230 km. The Optimistic Cave is the longest peak in the world. The complicated underground labyrinth was discovered in 1966. To date, more than 200 large expeditions have visited the cave. Complete article

Three Bridge Chasm, Lebanon

Three Bridge Chasm, Lebanon The abyss three bridges - such a name has the Jura cave, which is located in Lebanon. Its natural entrance is an abyss in the earth's crust with the depth of 225 meters, into which flows the Baatara waterfall. These wonderful sites of natural origin are considered as the unity. The cave-name perfectly reflects one of its chief features. In the abyss you can see three natural bridges, one above the other. According to the approximate calculations, the cave has been formed more than 160 million years ago. The impetuous underground rivers and streams continue to form the labyrinth further today. Complete article

Wind Cave, USA

Wind Cave, USA The USA is a real leader in the world after the number of long caves. In the state of South Dakota is the fifth longest cave on earth - Wind Cave. The thermal water has contributed to the formation of the lime cave. For thousands of years, the water has shed the mazes of the general length of more than 220 km. The cave is a complicated labyrinth with a lot of great galleries. The entrance to the cave, on the contrary, is quite small; Its diameter is only 35 cm. Complete article

Cueva de Los Verdes, Spain

Cueva de Los Verdes, Spain As a result of the volcanic activity, the cave Cueva-de-los-Verdes has formed on Lanzarote Island. Their length is more than 6 km, and the depth reaches 35 meters. The cave was formed more than 5000 years after the eruption of the Corona volcano. The frozen lava has created the incredible beautiful landscapes in the underground vaults, which attract the many tourists. Complete article

Lechuguilla Cave, USA

Lechuguilla Cave, USA Lechuguilla cave is the deepest in the territory of the United States. One of their mines has the depth of 489 meters. The length of the underground galleries is more than 222.5 kilometers. The lime cave was discovered in 1914. The cave has the same name as the canyon where its natural entrance was found. Lechuguilla attracts numerous researchers thanks to the variety of crystalline mineral formations. Complete article

Sac Actun, Mexico

Sac Actun, Mexico Diving in the caves is considered one of the most popular and spectacular extreme entertainment, and one of the best spots for this is Sac Actun Cave. Their general length is about 317.5 km, of which only 6 km of galleries are 'dry'. All other tunnels are more or less flooded. The depth of some pits surpasses 127 meters. The research of the cave was started in 1987. The scientists regularly discover the new junctions connecting the complex of the underground vaults with other large caves nearby. Complete article

Holloch, Switzerland

Holloch, Switzerland The longest cave in Western Europe is located in Switzerland. The general length of the underground vault of the Holloch cave reaches 156 km, and its some pits have the depth of more than 820 meters. Two natural entrances to the cave are on the slopes of the Glarner Alps. One of them is at the height of 734 meters, and the other - at the height of 1 260 meters above sea level. The cave was discovered in 1875. At present their lower part is very well equipped for the tourists. Complete article

Fisher Ridge, USA

Fisher Ridge, USA Fisher-Ridge Karsthöhle was discovered in 1981 and is located on the territory of the Kentucky state. The length of their complicated labyrinths is about 113 km. The distinctive peculiarity of the cave is the variety of the inner bays connecting the complex complex of galleries. The cave is multi-stepped and is, according to the researchers, constantly under the influence of the underground rivers further developed and expanded. Complete article

Gua Air Jernih, Malaysia

Gua Air Jernih, Malaysia In Malaysia, there are also huge caves, which are worth seeing for all tourists. The longest and most famous of these is Gua Air Jernih Cave. This is the longest cave in Asia. The length of the cave labyrinth is more than 189 km. The cave structure is truly unique: its tunnels are located on five levels, with the lower level taking the great underwater flow. Currently, the cave is located on the territory of the famous Gunung Mulu national park, so it is popular with the tourists. At the disposal of the travelers are several comfortable natural entrances to the cave. Complete article
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Largest and most branched caves on Earth - interactive map

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