Waitomo Glow-worm Cave
Waitomo Glow-worm cave is located in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. The Glow-worm cave is home to tiny glow worms called Arachnocampa luminosa that radiate luminescent light through their hanging larvae. These glow-worms are around the size of a mosquito and are exclusively found only in New Zealand. The blue light emission is due to the chemical reaction of a capsule that is present in their tail. They glow in order to attract insects into their silky trap.
The Glow worm cave is navigable by boat under the lights of hundreds of glow worms on the ceiling. Apart from the glow worms, the cave’s limestone formations are also unique since the cave was formed around 30 million years ago under the ocean and was made from fossilized limestones. The other key features of the cave are the excessive cave decorations, limestone shaft named Tomo and the Cathedral Cavern with awesome acoustics.
Skocjan cave is a cave system in Slovenia. It is 2 miles long. It consists of many exciting features including the highest cave hall in Europe, a massive underground gorge (valley), waterfalls along with a bridge over the gorge. The sinking Reka River is the best feature of the cave that goes underground 21 miles and then disappears in the bottom of Velika Dolina in the caves, 160 m below the surface and flows off 34 km to the Adriatic Sea, near Monfalcone area, where it becomes the source of the river Timavo.
Due to the presence of stalagmite (conical pillar rising from cave floor) and stalactite (conical pillar hanging in cave) formations, the Skocjan cave represents the most significant underground phenomena. According to the UNESCO in 1986, it has been listed as natural and cultural World Heritage Site.
Carlsbad cave is a National Park located in the Guadeloupe Mountains, about 25 miles away from the Carlsbad town in southern New Mexico. The cave was carved out by strong sulphuric acid formed from oil and gas deposits which are near to the cave. It includes a Big Room which is a big chamber room made of natural limestone and is about 4000 feet long 625 feet wide and 255 feet high at the highest point making it the third largest chamber room in North America and seventh largest in the world which is accessible by an elevator or through a short trail.
There is also the Chocolate room and the bottomless pit and some of the most colorful and largest rock formations. It is also home to rattlesnake, spade foot toads, cricket frog, Rio Grande leopard frog, Chihuahua desert pocket mouse, mule deer, ground squirrels, cougar, kangaroo rats and ringtails.
The Marble Cathedral or the Cuevas de Marmol
The Marble Cathedral or the Cuevas de Marmol is a cave carved into Chile’s Lago General Carrera Lake on the Chile-Argentina border. It was formed 6,000 years ago as a result of erosion by waves crashing into calcium carbonate. It possesses crystal-clear water and beautifully patterned walls of marble. The cave is only accessible by boat.
Cave of crystals or Giant Crystal Cave
Cave of crystals or Giant Crystal Cave is situated 300 meters (900 feet) below the surface of working silver and lead Naica Mine (i.e. below the surface of the Earth) of Chihuahua, Mexico. It was accidentally discovered in the year 2000 by working miners. It is built in a limestone rock and its main chamber consists of world’s largest selenite crystals which are almost transparent. The largest crystal found here was12 meters in length and 4 meters in diameter.
The crystals were formed millions of years ago because of the magma chamber just below the cave floor that heated the ground water which dissolved numerous minerals including large quantities of gypsum and later cooled down to form large crystals. The temperature inside the cave is 50-58 degrees Celsius with 90-99% humidity due to which the cave is relatively unexplored and people without proper protection gears can only last a maximum of 10 minutes in the cave.