A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. The term applies to natural cavities some part of which is in total darkness. The word cave also refers to smaller spaces like rock shelters, sea caves, and grottos.
Caves are formed by various geologic processes. These may involve a combination of chemical processes, erosion from water, tectonic forces, microorganisms, pressure, atmospheric influences, and even digging.
Caves are found throughout the world, but only a portion of them have been explored and documented by cavers. Caves are visited by many surface-living animals, including humans. These are usually relatively short-lived incursions, due to the lack of light and sustenance.
Here is the list of 6 most Astonishing Caves.
Crystal Cave (Sequoia National Park), California (USA)
Crystal Cave is a marble karst cave in Sequoia National Park, in the U.S. state of California. It is one of at least 240 known caves in the park. It is in the Giant Forest region, between the Ash Mountain entrance of the park and Giant Forest.
The cave is a constant 48 °F (9 °C), and only accessible by guided tour.
Cheddar Gough’s Caves, England (UK)
Gough’s Cave is located in Cheddar Gorge on the Mendip Hills, in Cheddar, Somerset, England. The cave is 90 metres (295 ft) deep and is 2.135 kilometres (1.33 mi) long, and contains a variety of large chambers and rock formations. It contains the Cheddar Yeo, the largest underground river system in Britain.
Reed Flute Cave, China
The Reed Flute Cave is a landmark and tourist attraction in Guilin, Guangxi, China. It is a natural limestone cave with multicolored lighting and has been one of Guilin’s most interesting attractions for over 1200 years.
It is over 180 million years old. The cave got its name from the type of reed growing outside, which can be made into melodious flutes. Reed Flute Cave is filled with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations in weird and wonderful shapes.
Inside, there are more than 70 inscriptions written in ink, which can be dated back as far as 792 AD in the Tang Dynasty. These aged inscriptions tell us that it has been an attraction in Guilin since ancient times.It was rediscovered in the 1940s by a group of refugees and has since received many VIPs.
Aven Armand Cave, France
Aven Armand is a cave located in the Cévennes National Park, in the Lozère département, between Meyrueis and Sainte-Enimie.
Discovered in 1897 and open to the public since 1927, it is one of the most visited places in that area.
Caves such as this are found in many Limestone areas, such as the White Scar Caves near Skipton in Yorkshire.
Luray Caverns, Virginia (USA)
Luray Caverns, originally called Luray Cave, is a large, celebrated commercial cave just west of Luray, Virginia, USA, which has drawn many visitors since its discovery in 1878.
The underground cavern system is generously adorned with speleothems (columns, mud flows, stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, mirrored pools, etc.). The caverns are perhaps best known for the Great Stalacpipe Organ, a lithophone made from solenoid fired strikersthat tap stalactites of various sizes to produce tones similar to those of xylophones, tuning forks, or bells.
Fantasy Cave and Crystal Cave, Bermuda
Crystal Cave is the most famous of Bermuda’s many subterranean caverns. It is located in Hamilton Parish, close to Castle Harbour. A tourist attraction since 1907, it was discovered in 1905 by Carl Gibbons and Edgar Hollis, two 12 year-old boys searching for a lost cricket ball.
Soon after, the Wilkinson family (the owners of the property since 1884) learned of the discovery, Mr. Percy Wilkinson lowered his 14 year-old son Bernard into it with a bicycle lamp on 140 feet of strong rope tied to a tree to explore the cave.
The area surrounding Harrington Sound (which lies to the south of Crystal Cave) is of limestone formation and noted for many subterranean waterways, through which the waters of the sound empty into the Atlantic. Crystal Cave is one of these, and – as its name suggests – is one of the most spectacularly beautiful, with many stalactites, stalagmites, and deep crystal-clear pools. However, some crystal formations have been damaged by earthquakes in the far past.
An excursion to Crystal Cave also includes the neighbouring Fantasy Cave with Fantasy being deeper (88 steps down). Fantasy Cave was reopened in the summer of 2001 with all the pathways rebuilt and re-illuminated by artificial lighting. It was discovered and opened about the same time as Crystal Cave, but was closed by the owners in the 1940s.