Caves have a strange fascination: they attract and frightening at the same time. In ancient times they were regarded as the gateway to the dark underground world of monsters and the afterlife, but in prehistoric times served as a refuge for people.

This system with an underground river was first explored in 1887 the leader of Maori Tane Tinorau and English surveyor Fred Mace. Suspecting nothing, they went down the river on a raft and soon found themselves in quite stunning cave: in total darkness shone and reflected in the water, hundreds of thousands of lights. Tanya and Mays did not even realize that it's glow-worms - or rather, as later researchers found, the larvae of fungus gnats Arachnocampa Luminosa, which only in New Zealand and live.

The first tour started here in 1889 led to Tanya Tinorau himself with his wife, Hootie and the many among today's tour guides and their direct descendants. They carry tourists to the underground river by boat, and they admire the beauty of the underground in complete silence (the larvae are very sensitive to noise and might stop lights) at the starry sky created by insects. Incidentally, besides the Grotto in Waitomo fireflies have dry Cathedral cave with excellent acoustics: one day they even made ​​a famous opera singer Kiri Te Kanawa.
 About Jaytee (it is located near Beirut), people knew a very long time, but especially it has never been interested. In 1836 an American missionary William Thomson discovered this underground river, and decided just in case palnut into the void of a gun. Echo was so powerful that Thompson understood: the cave is huge.
 Then, 40 years later, Jaytee studied Beirut plumbers WJ. Maxwell and HG Huxley: they were almost a kilometer along the river, and realized that there are many caves (now known that their overall length - 9 km). So Jaytee has become one of the main attractions of Lebanon and even got a recent finalists Seven new wonders of nature. "
Caves are divided into two levels. In the lower river flows (which gives rise to the river Nahr al-Kalb, which waters the whole Beirut) with rapids and waterfalls. Tourists are boating under the low vaults, from which hang a thousand illuminated stalactites, and on the banks are swollen columns and stone sculpture. Go to the upper galleries with white and red grottoes leading 120-meter tunnel. Red grotto named for the color of the limestone formations stained with iron oxide. And the White show a huge stalactite in 8,2 m, which is called the largest in the world. Of course, it's just marketing, because there are stalactites and more, but this is still impressive.
Four large cave called the Dragon Cave (Mallorca, he is not so much a villain as a watchman underground treasures), are on the east coast of the island, near the town of Porto Cristo.
 The system of caves located at a depth of 25 m and stretched to 2,5 km. First, visited the founder of Speleology Edward Alfred Martel, and he, in particular, has opened here is one of the world's largest underground lakes (1150 m in length and 30 m in width), which then and called: Martel. The water in this lake is brackish, and it confirms the version that created the cave was once the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1935, there had lighting, invented the electrical simulation of sunrise over the water and began to arrange concerts of classical music. Today the lake there are benches on which sit the spectators, and the three boats to them comes up the quartet, and plays Chopin, Offenbach and Caballero. After the concert, which takes only ten minutes, you can ride on a boat or take a walk under the snow-white stalactites, draperies bizarre limestone and twigs and spirals geliktitov. Kungurskaya Ice Cave (Perm, Russia)
The seventh-longest in the world system of gypsum caves called ice, because even in summer enough ice: the temperature in some caves, does not rise above zero.

 Ice is located on the outskirts of the city Kungur under the mountain, which is also called the Ice. The total length of the cave - 5,7 km, in her 48 caves, as many as 70 underground lakes and 146, "organ pipes" - large holes that reach almost to the ground. Tourists drive for a much shorter route to a mile, passing through 21 grotto.
 In Diamond grotto arch covers bizarre fringe of ice crystals. In the Arctic show a lot of icing, ice stalagmites, stalactites and columns. In the grotto ruins, filled with debris, you can see the stone turtle and crocodile. Many fantastic sculptures and Sculpture grotto. In the meteor lit grotto arch impression of falling meteorite. And more than half of the grotto of Peoples' Friendship is a large underground lake, which are home to the blind crayfish. A Giant in a cave (the largest of the tourist) is felled tree, which remains green for many years for its pure air free of pathogens.
 The biggest area grotto in the world is on the island of Borneo, in a cave, Gua Nasib Bagus,. He said Sarawak has a length of 700 m, 396 m wide and 70 m in height (for clarity: it fit no less than forty-Boeing-747).
Excursion to the cave lasts all day: just a way for pierced an underground river rocky tunnel takes three hours. At the end of the route waiting for the most difficult passage obstruction, after which - just ink Sarawak darkness, illuminated by lights on their helmets. In this grotto allowed only well-trained people who have walked on the easier routes in the caves of Mulu (they are also, incidentally, is more scenic).

In the Cave of the Winds enchanting show calcite columns and stalagmites in the cave of pure water under their feet roaring river made ​​its way under the ground at 108 km. And in the Deer Cave is a place called Garden of Eden: lit through the hole in the ceiling area lush greenery, thanks to the sun and then appeared. In the same cave lives a huge, 3 million birds, a colony shirokouhih skladchatogubov. Every evening these bats emerge from caves long waves in search of prey. The tourists are watching this meditative spectacle of a specially built amphitheater.

The cave system consists of a length of six kilometers of the giant karst caves, thirty waterfalls, and deep underground canyon length of 2,5 km. Over him at an altitude of fifty meters above the water hangs Tserkvenikov bridge, which offers breathtaking views.

Cave tour ends at the River Rocks Martel, one of the largest in the world, where the water runs into the siphon. Patency was not too high, so that during heavy rains the river rises, it happens, a whole hundred feet, flooding the bridge. Tourists, however, neither Martel, no siphon can not see: there the route is not paved. But apart from the canyon to the bridge they see a big cave with a 15-meter stalagmite, nicknamed "The Giant and the grotto with a beautiful cascade of calcite terraces.

 All karst caves in the world gave the name of limestone plateau Kras (Karst) in Slovenia. And the most dazzling spectacle on this plateau - it Shkotsyanskie caves included in UNESCO World Heritage List.
Once they formed a river River, which emerges from the rock, passes through the two giant karst collapse, Velika Dolina and Mala Dolina, formed from the collapsed cave in the distant past, again, goes underground and emerges through the 34 km is already in Italy, under the Timavo name.
These caves in the Blue Mountains local Aborigines called gundungurra Binumea, "dark places", and believed in the healing power of the current underground rivers: the sick people brought even from afar. Now 11 Jenolan Caves are in demand in healthy tourists - they come every year, a quarter of a million.
 Over the entrance to the cave each pay separately, and the harder route - the more expensive. But here there is a hotel, and any ticket gives an annual rebate on all other caves, so many here spend several days exploring all the caves one by one.
The most popular cave - Lucas, she's very tall and wide. It flows the river, and tourists often photographed with a large Broken Column (a unique offer, because paying the caves are usually forbidden to photograph).

In Lucas is also the Cathedral Grotto, which give concerts and arrange the wedding. Not bad, and the Imperial cave with alabaster column and the accumulation of crystals, looking like an ancient fortress. Chifley cave (the first in the world, which illuminated by electricity - in 1880) is not visible to the entire whole, and around every corner waiting for surprises - for example, the giant dog's mouth with the teeth of the spar. In the eastern cave has a beautiful Egyptian and Persian illuminated grottoes with translucent draperies made ​​of stone. A Mammoth - the deepest and one of the most complex of caves - are still not fully understood, so that during those 6 hours, which lasts tour, you can make some discovery.

 According to legend, these caves in the Western Cape found in 1780 by local farmer Van Zyl, and the first grotto now bears his name.

Here everything is designed for travelers - each a little bit interesting cave as a flowery named. Then there are highlighted Profile Cave devil, and a grotto with an impressive marriage "marriage bed", and 10-meter stalagmite Cleopatra's Needle, and the country of fairies, and even "frozen Victoria Falls. " And interestingly, it's all amazingly beautiful.

In the Cango also offer Adventure Tour in inaccessible aisles - it requires a comfortable shoes and clothes that do not mind dirty: This tour begins where the usual ending. Goes down stairs of 200 steps that leads to the Great Hall, where frozen all the ill-fated family of Lot. Then follows the passage of Lumbago: You can only walk bent over because the ceiling height does not exceed 120 cm And after the Crystal Palace and Mines King Solomon begins Tunnel of Love, a height of 30 cm, so that at times it seems that the cave compresses the daredevil in amorous embrace. And ends with no less difficult mailbox devil: tourists take turns tuck yourself as a letter to narrow the gap that leads down.
Name the world's largest system of ice caves (located 40 km south of Salzburg), translated from German as "giant ice world. " The length of the world - as much as 42 miles, but tourists are not allowed beyond the first. However, and this is enough.
Самая загадочная из 116 пещер Карлсбадского национального парка — Лечугилья, она же самая длинная в США. Но туда пускают только ученых, и вход в нее тщательно прячут от любознательных туристов. Впрочем, главная пещера парка, Карлсбадская, не уступает Лечугилье красотой, а размеры ее тоже внушительны. В ней есть грот Веревка колокольчика, названный так за узкий сталактит, свисающий из дыры в потолке, громадный Зал гигантов с карстовыми образованиями, грот Гвадалупе с длинными игольчатыми сталактитами и Облачное озеро с белой круглой скалой, лежащей под водой.
Самый красивый грот — это грот Королевы; когда его увидел Джим Уайт, первый человек, который начал всерьез изучать Карлсбадские пещеры, он выронил от изумления свой фонарь и провел полчаса в полной темноте, пока не справился с освещением.
Рядом с ним находится Загадочная комната, названная так за необъяснимые звуки, слышимые только в ней. А в гроте Зеленого озера таится малахитового цвета водоем. Когда-то военные решили устроить в Карлсбадских пещерах бомбоубежище на случай ядерной войны и проследили за этим озером во время одного из ядерных испытаний, которые тогда проводили тут же, в Нью-Мексико. Так вот, вода даже не шелохнулась.

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