Since the dawn of man, humanity has had a fascination with caves. We've dared each other to press further inside of them, used them for shelter, and plenty of us have died in them. That urge to explore the unknown has never gone away, and once you see these caves, you're bound to feel it too.
Phraya Nakhon Cave
This incredible cave, the Phraya Nakhon, resides quietly inside the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. In the center of the cave sits a lonely pavilion built in 1890 for King Chulalongkorn, ensuring that the sunlight would shine through the ceiling and illuminate it in a warm glow. Since then, numerous other kings have made their own pilgrimages to the cave and carved their signatures on its walls.
Two brothers who were drilling below the Naica mine near Chihuahua, Mexico discovered this incredible cave glittering with gigantic crystals. With temperatures that can reach up to 112 degrees, the Cave of Crystals is not a place you can visit for more than a short time, and definitely not without a special suit. Some of the razor sharp formations are estimated to be over 600,000 years old, and are big enough to walk across.
In this New Zealand cave, you can float through on a canoe and watch as thousands upon thousands of glowworms dangle from strands of silk and attract prey using a bright bioluminescence. The cave itself is estimated to have been formed over 30 million years ago, and remains one of New Zealand's most beloved natural features.
Vatnajökull Glacier Cave
Sometimes called Crystal Caves, the Icelandic ice caves are one of the most mesmerizing sights in the world. According to the Extreme Iceland tour service, the caves get their incredible colors from a combination of "time, pressure, and secrecy".
As the glacier travels and winds its way down the slopes of mountain ridges, the air bubbles trapped in the ice are squeezed out, and the size of the ice crystals increases, making it clear. The real beauty of the centuries old compressed ice of a glacier lies underneath the damaged outer surface.
The best part of these caves is that new ones are discovered each season, ensuring that your adventures can change drastically each year!
The Blue Grotto
The Blue Grotto, near Capri, Italy is known for it's shimmering blue water, the result of sunlight entering the cave through an underwater entrance. The water actually filters out the red light, leaving only the color blue. It's such a strange natural phenomena that people once believed the cave to be home to supernatural forces like fairies.
This cave in Patagonia is the result of six thousand years of waves crashing against calcium carbonate, creating beautiful patterns of swirls. Coupled with the crystal-blue water that shimmers through the passages (a result of glacial silt), this amazing cave is one of the most unique in the world.
At 586 feet deep, Ellison's Cave is the deepest known cave pit in the United States, making it a repeller's wet dream. In fact, this cave is so deep that it takes a full eight seconds for a rock to drop from the entrance to the bottom.
As hard as it might be to believe, no, this incredible cave wasn't carved by hand... nature did all the work. The precise geometric shapes that make up Fingal's Cave are the result of hot lava pouring through the cave, cooling, and cracking in a hexagonal pattern. Eventually the lava shrank away, leaving a totally natural piece of art for adventurers to explore.
Kyaut Sae Cave
A Buddhist temple created on the edge of a cliff in Myanmar is the unassuming entrance to Kyaut Sae Cave. Legend says that in the 13th century, the massive cave was once used as a hiding place for villagers trying to escape the Mongols. was originally used as a place of hiding for locals who wanted to hide from the Mongols in the 13th century.
Today, the cave is used as meditation area for monks, and is even open for tourists to visit, if they don't mind the climb.
Son Doong Cave
Lacated in Vietnam's Quang Binh province in 1991, Son Doong Cave is the world's largest known cave. The mammoth opening measures almost 700 feet wide, 500 feet high, and is almost a whopping six miles long.
Love to scuba dive? Then exploring the Orda Cave in Russia's Ural region is just the adventure you've been looking for. The water in this cave is so clear that you can see over fifty yards ahead of you while diving.
New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns National Park isn't home to just one cave, but 117(!!) caves created several million years ago, and the discoveries just keep happening. In 2003, a park employee found a piece of a stone scraper within view of Carlsbad Cavern's entrance that goes back to Ice Age Indian hunters. In 2004, archeologists found fragments of two spear points of the Midland-style Paleo Indian projectile points of some 10,000 years ago.