Image: Via Plamen Stoev
Long ago, our ancestors were using caves as shelter from wild animals and the forces of nature. Perhaps, this base necessity however, has always been eclipsed by man’s curiosity and desire to explore the mystical and enigmatic air inside the abyss. In the past, Environmental Graffiti has explored some amazing uses of caves – from discotheques, temples and underground cities to hotels and primary schools. That’s only scratching at the surface however. Today, with all sorts of equipment, caving has turned into something of an extreme sport – it involves climbing, crawling and sometimes even swimming. Looking at the most extreme end then, what about those caves that create the enigma, that fuel the stuff of legends; caves that appear bottomless and that seem to extend to the very center of the earth? What are the ten deepest caves on our planet?
10. Cehi 2
Slovenia’s deepest cave was mapped by Italian explorers from the Club Alpino Italiano of Trieste. They published a very interesting document, called Progressione 50: although it’s in Italian, you can see how the expedition went inside the Cehi 2 (or Ceki 2). The cave, which is in the Canin Massif, is located in the Western Julian Alps, on the Italian-Slovenian border. The alpinists managed to go as deep as 4928 feet (1502 m). To put this in perspective, the depth is over twice the height of the tallest man-made structure in the world.
Image: Via 1
9. Sima de la Cornisa – Torca Magali
This is a caving system in the Picos de Europa mountains in Spain. An international team of speleologists including Valencian Silvino Villa and the Belgian Jan Masschelein explored the cave last summer and managed to go down, in what they call a “bottomless pit”, to 4944 feet (1507 m).