Some of the most amazing spectacles in this world are hidden inside caves. Here are five of the world's most incredible caves and caverns you can visit.
The Blue Grotto in Capri, Italy
It’s the emblem of Capri - the Blue Grotto. This sea cave is found on the coast of the island and is rather well known. A brilliant blue glow comes from two sources: the entrance to the cave (a small opening where only one rowboat can enter at a time) and a bigger hole beneath the entrance. When viewed from inside the cave, the entrance appears as a brilliant white light just above the waterline, while the underwater hole, which is the larger source of light, provides a blue glow.
Cave of the Crystals in Chihuahua, Mexico
The Cave of the Crystals was discovered in 2000 and contains the largest natural selenite crystals ever found. The biggest crystal found here was 12 meters in length and 4 meters in diameter and the average temperature here is 50-58 degrees Celsius with 90-99% humidity. The cave remained largely unexplored because of its hot temperature. Even with protective gear, one can’t stay here beyond 30 minutes. Over time, gypsum-rich groundwater began seeping into the cavern that is now the Cave of the Crystals, filling the hollow space with gypsum. This alone might not do much, but thanks to the pool of magma beneath the cave, the groundwater remained at 50 degrees Celsius for 500,000 years, allowing selenite crystals to form and grow to gigantic sizes.
Fingal's Cave in Staffa, Scotland
This stunning sea cave located on the island of Staffa in Scotland was named after the hero in James Macpherson’s book Fingal which means white stranger. The cave's size, shape, and naturally arched roof combine with the waves to create eerie sounds that enhance its cathedral-like atmosphere. At 72 feet tall and 270 feet deep, what makes this sea cave so visually astoundingly is the hexagonal columns of basalt, shaped in neat six-sided pillars that make up its interior walls.
These fractured columns form a crude walkway just above the water level so that visitors can go far inside and explore the cave. The cave was a well-known wonder of the ancient Irish and Scottish Celtic people and was an important site in the legends. Known to the Celts as Uamh-Binn or 'The Cave of Melody', one Irish legend, in particular, explained the existence of the cave as well as that of the similar Giant’s Causeway in Ireland.
As both are made of the same neat basalt columns, the legend holds that they were the end pieces of a bridge built by the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill, so he could make it to Scotland where he was to fight Benandonner, his gigantic rival. The legend, which connects the two structures, is in effect geologically correct. Both the Giant’s Causeway and Fingal’s Cave were indeed created by the same ancient lava flow, which may have at one time formed a “bridge” between the two sites. Pink Floyd named one of their early, unreleased songs after the cave, and Matthew Barney used the cave in his Cremaster cycle.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves in Waitomo, New Zealand
It’s like stepping right into a fairytale. This specific glowworm, officially known as Arachnocampa Luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Millions of these little guys live inside the deep caves of Waitomo and radiate an unmistakable light from their body. They are monitored closely by specialized staff from a scientific advisory group that uses automated equipment to monitor the cave remotely, including the temperature, the amount of carbon dioxide (needed to maintain the glowworms), and the number of visitors that can enter each day.
The guided tours cover three levels and commence with a boat ride on the underground river, where the ceiling is lit solely by these spectacular glow worms. It's like watching the night sky full of twinkling stars.
Krubera Cave in Abkhazia, Georgia
Krubera cave was discovered in 1960 and is the deepest known cave on Earth, with a depth of over 2196 meters. Krubera Cave is also known as the Voronja Cave, which means 'cave of the crows' and got its name in 1980 by speleologists because of a number of crows nesting at the entrance of the cave.