Are you searching for the most famous caves in the world? You are at the right place!
Mother nature’s beauty knows no limits, and caves are some of the most majestic natural formations around.
Caves are naturally formed underground spaces which are large enough for humans to traverse. There are different types of caves out there such as lava caves, littoral caves, limestone caves, and ice caves. All of these caves were formed by millions of years of environmental processes, the most common being erosion by water.
Here are 8 of the most famous caves in the world:
1. Blue Grotto – Italy
Blue Grotto, or Blue Cave in English, is a sea cave on the coast of Capri that radiates a beautiful and bright blue hue. This underwater cave is 60 meters deep & 25 meters wide, and visitors will need a small boat to explore it.
Blue Grotto is said to be one of the most beautiful caves in the world due to its glowing blue waters. This optical illusion is caused by sunlight hitting the Mediterranean Sea, causing seawater to emit a bright blue hue.
2. Reed Flute Cave – China
Reed Flute Cave is a colorful cave located in the southern Chinese province of Guangxi. Its name was derived from the abundant wild reed growing outside, which traditionally was used to make flutes.
Reed Flute cave was formed millions of years ago by erosion, and the locals nicknamed it the “Palace of Natural Arts” due to its stunning beauty. This limestone cave is 240 meters deep and adorned with countless towering stalactites and stalagmites. Multicolored lights further amplify the cave’s aesthetic charm.
3. Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave – Austria
The largest ice cave in the world, Eisriesenwelt Ice Cave is located about 40km south of Salzburg, Austria. It was formed when the Salzach river eroded exposed limestone rocks, where cracks eventually appeared and expanded. River water entered these cracks and eroded more and more limestone, thus forming the cave.
Eisriesenwelt receives over 20 million visitors each year. You can only visit during the summertime due to the extremely cold temperatures in winter. However, temperatures inside the cave are usually still below freezing in the summertime. Don’t forget to bring your jackets!
4. Cave of the Swallows – Mexico
Cave of the Swallows is an open-air pit cave located in the San Luis Potosi province in Mexico. With a depth of 427 meters, this cave attracts thousands of daredevils each year looking to traverse it. The walls of this cave are home to numerous bird species. This includes the swallow, which is where it received its name.
Every day, a fascinating phenomenon occurs where hundreds of swallows fly up to the sky from the cave floor and travel to an area called Huasteca. This occurrence is a popular spectacle among tourists. The swallows will then return to the cave at night after their long journey.
5. Melissani Cave – Greece
Melissani Cave is located on the island of Kefalonia off the coast of Greece. Thick forests surround it, and the cave also hides a little secret within. An underground lake filled with pristine blue water lies on the bottom. This beautiful lake was formed after the roof of the cave collapsed thousands of years ago. Many tourists visit Melissani Cave every year and explore it on a boat. The water is said to be so clear that boats look like they are floating in thin air!
6. Waitomo Glow Worm Cave – New Zealand
Waitomo Glow Work Cave is one of the most unique caves in the world. It is located at Waitomo on the North Island of New Zealand and is filled with magnificent stalactites and stalagmites of different shapes. However, what makes this cave so famous is the hypnotizing blue glow it radiates.
This blue glow is created by a species of worm called Arachnocampa luminosa, which are endemic to New Zealand. These glowworms are very small in size, with adults only reaching the size of a mosquito. They live in the darkest parts of the cave and emit the blue glow which seems to enchant those who see it.
7. Hang Son Doong Cave – Vietnam
Located in the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam, Hang Son Doong Cave is the largest natural cave in the world with a depth of 3.8 km and a width of 90 meters. It was only discovered relatively recently in 1991 after a local man stumbled upon it while searching for timber.
The cave also has a subterranean river running through it and limestone walls as high as 6 meters. In the center of the cave lies a primitive rainforest that was formed after the cave’s roof collapsed. This created a hole measuring 450 meters deep and 200 meters wide, allowing sunlight and rainwater to enter creating a unique rainforest ecosystem.
Do you know about any caves that we are missing in our list of the most famous caves in the world? Please let us know in the comment section.