Kempinski Blog Article
We may think that most of the world's most amazing natural sights exist here on the surface of earth, however there are all sorts of natural wonders located beneath our feet.
Here are some of the world's most incredible underground locations, which are sure to delight everyone.
Cave of the Crystals, Chihuahua, Mexico
Located in a remote corner of northern Mexico, Cueva de los Cristales is a mesmerising place.
Discovered by miners drilling nearly 300m below the surface in 2000, the cave is home to hundreds of gigantic crystals, criss-crossing diagonally throughout the enormous, extremely humid, 58C space.
The largest crystal is some 12m in length, and the smallest look like flakes of frost - the cave is the only place we know that contains these two extreme forms of crystals.
Formed from limestone, the Cave of the Crystals is slowly deteriorating over time, due to its proximity to the mine – water is pumped out of the mine, which in turn is depriving the crystals of their natural, watery surrounds. When the mine closes down, the crystals will once again be submerged, only accessible to divers.
Mulu Caves, Borneo, Malaysia
A series of gigantic caves and karst limestone formations, Malaysia's Mulu Caves are one of the country's top natural attractions for good reason. The largest, the Sarawak chamber, is around 700m by 400m in size, with a ceiling stretching 70m from the cavern floor – that's 40 Boeing 747s-worth of space!
Song Doong Cave, Son Trach, Vietnam
Officially the largest cave in the world, the Song Doong Cave is one of the most amazing natural wonders on earth. Discovered in 1991 by local man Ho Khanh, the cave was created millions of years ago by an underground river that twisted its way beneath the Annamite Mountains, and today the cave is 200m wide, 150m tall, and 9km long.
The cave is wondrous in every possible way. Enormous rock sculptures of varying types can be seen throughout, the cave features its own miniature jungle, and owing to its undiscovered location and sheer size, the cave has its own special ecosystem and climate, different to the world above.
Jeita Grotto, Beirut, Lebanon
Gigantic and astonishing, there are few caverns around the world surpassed by Jeita Grotto. Sculpted by underground rivers, Lebanon's best cave system features two large areas of coves, the upper and lower galleries, accessible by foot and boat respectively.
Within these two galleries visitors can find massive limestone pillars, stalactite and stalagmite formations reminiscent of grand Gothic cathedrals, and a intense feeling of stillness and silence – truly a hauntingly beautiful place.