Caves are natural underground cavity accessible to penetration of the person. They are the object of study of the science of Speleology. It cavers make the greatest contribution to the study of caves. Some of the creations of nature are striking in their beauty, others bizarre, and still others by their size.
In the top 10 included the biggest cave in the world in extent, volume, or footprint.
10. Optimistic cave
Optimistic cave (Ukraine) opens the ten greatest caves. It is also the longest gypsum cave in the world. The investigated area is 230 kilometers, but the cave itself is much longer. The rest of it yet researchers have not been studied. Optimistic cave was opened in Lviv in 1966 by speleologists. Initially it was assumed that its length is not more than 3 meters, but further persistent studies have shown that the cave is one of the longest in the world. Its name derives from the fact that skeptical cavers to explore the caves, called Lviv optimistic. Since here made more than 200 expeditions.
Sarma (Abkhazia) is included in the list of the deepest caves in the world, which is located in the mountain range Arabica. It was discovered in 1990 by Sergey Shipitsin. The entrance is located at the altitude of 2150 meters above sea level. The maximum known depth Sarma is 1830 meters. The cave is formed of limestone and gypsum rocks. Her study involved many cavers. Among them, the Rudko Paul, Kolesnikov Eugene Plotnikov Vladimir Osintsev Alexander Sukhachev Basil, Secure Andrew, Safin Rafael, bezverkhii Anatoly Verbitsky Alexander Kalachev, Artem and many others.
Krubera-Voronya (Abkhazia) — the deepest in the world, known for caving, cave. Its depth is equal to 2,2 kilometres and it is located in the mountain range Arabica in Georgia. The entrance is located at an altitude of 2250 meters above the sea level. It is a vertical cave consisting of a series of wells that are connected by perelazy and galleries. Another entrance to Krubera-Raven was built in 2014 and situated at an altitude of 2253 meters above sea level. On the two hundred meter deep cave branched into Main and branch Nicobarese, which are the main. Then there are many such large branches. Krubera-Voronya was first discovered in 1960 by the speleological expedition of the Institute of geography to them. Vakhushti Bagrationi Sciences of the Georgian SSR. In 2014, a team of explorers opened the new entrance, located above the primary, which allowed him to set a new world record for deep cave system that became the equal of 2199 metres.
Sak Aktun (Mexico) is one of the largest caves in the world, is almost completely flooded with water. Also included in the list of the longest caves in the world. Its total length is more than 317 kilometers, of which only 5 kilometers is not flooded. Her study cavers started in the second half of the 20th century.
6. Mammoth cave
Mammoth cave (USA) recognized as the longest in the world. It is located in Kentucky USA, in the eponymous national Park. Its length is more than 587 miles. In fact, the cave is much longer, but the researchers studied only until that part. Now in this cave system 225 known underground passages and about 20 huge halls. Its name it received because of its impressive size. In one of the passages flows a pretty large river Echo, the width of which is 60 meters and the depth is 10 meters. Mammoth cave was formed approximately 10 million years ago. About its existence since ancient times knew the Indians. Subsequently, scientists discovered in the cave Indian burial sites. Its discovery by the Americans took place in the late 18th century.
5. Red cave
Red cave (Russia, Crimea) is one of the longest caves with the total length of 16 kilometers. Its area is 52 thousand square meters, and the volume is 200 thousand cubic meters of Red cave is about 30 % of the territory of the Crimea, and for the length it takes approximately 19%.
Eisriesenwelt (Austria) is the world's largest ice cave, where throughout the year, there is permafrost. Its length is 42 km, and the depth of 407 meters. Its existence was known to people long ago, but in fact it was opened in 1879 by naturalist Anton von Posselt-CARICOM. The most thorough study engaged in Salzburg caver Alexander von Merck, who died during World war I (1914) and was buried in one of the niches Eisrisenwelt. Currently, this cave is one of the most popular places to stay. First trip here was made in 1920. Annually, Eisrisenwelt visited by about 150 thousand tourists. Tours are offered from may to October, but in winter a visit to the cave is prohibited because of the danger of avalanches.
Miao (China) is one of the largest caves in the world by volume. It was opened in 1989, the Chinese-European expedition. Miao is located in the largest cave system, Gabija in a national Park of China Tzung educational and methodical he Cuando. To get to Miao only by an underground stream. To determine the boundaries of the cave, the researchers used laser scanning. According to the data obtained during the study of the volume of Miao amounted to 10.78 million cubic meters.
2. Lubang Nasib Bagus
Lubang Nasib bagus (Malaysia) — a cave with the world's largest cave, Sarawak. The length of the grotto is 600 meters and a width of 415 metres. In height he reaches one hundred meters and its area is 163 thousand cubic meters Total volume of the grotto is about 25 million cubic meters It was opened in 1981 three British cavers, exploring the karst massif in the national Park Gunung Mulu. The British climbed up the river flowing out of the cave and ended up in the grotto, which could not cover available to researchers lights. So huge was the hall area. On the territory of Sarawak is able to accommodate 50 of the huge planes.
Shandong (Vietnam) — the biggest cave in the world. It is located in the Vietnam national Park Phong Nha Provides Binh province. Of its existence, local residents learned in 1991, and in 2009 she was discovered by a British group of cavers. Shandong in some places reaches two hundred meter height and one hundred and fifty-meter width. It is recognized as the cave with the highest and wide aisles. Its volume is approximately equal to 38.5 million cubic meters In places where light penetrates, grows grass and trees.