Caves are some of the most beautiful natural wonders on Earth. Some are made in an instant while others have been thousands or even millions of years in the making. And caving – also known as spelunking and potholing – is an adventurous hobby (also often done via virtual travel) that offers unique opportunities to learn about the history and mystery of our incredible planet.

Caves are dark and sometimes inhospitable, but they’re also wondrous, preserving remnants of some of mankind’s earliest civilizations. Exploring them gives one a special kind of high – it is all about discovering a mysterious underground landscape of stalactites, lakes, caverns where cool and eerie silence bars the echoes of furtive animals and ancient humans.

Great caves and caverns are like 'geological cathedrals', and the amplified sounds and strange forests of glistening rocks in the subterranean tunnels can certainly give you a feeling of uneasy reverence. The world below the earth’s surface is one of the few places left where you can explore new paths.

Nature never fails to leave us awestruck with its splendour and myriad wonders, and caves are undoubtedly one of its most magnificent creations. Feeling a bit like Indiana Jones, even if you’re in a guided tour, is enough of a draw on its own. The fact that you’ll get to experience the glory of whatever you find inside your cave of choice is an excellent bonus. So let’s dive right in and check out some of the best caves you should definitely explore.

  1. The Blue Grotto, Italy

The Blue Grotto is the emblem of Capri. It is a sea cave found on the coast of the island and is a well-known spot to all who visit the area. This cave is unique for its brilliant blue glow which comes from two sources: the entrance to the cave (a small opening where only one rowboat can enter at a time) and a bigger hole beneath the entrance. When viewed from inside the cave, the entrance appears as a brilliant white light just above the waterline, while the underwater hole, which is the larger source of light, provides a blue glow.

  1. Hang Son Doong, Vietnam

Running for more than nine miles, this is the largest cave in the world. Located in Vietnam and connected to another cave system by its river, there are three ceiling collapses along its length, allowing sunlight to come through and lush vegetation to grow. Son Doong was created by the river that runs through it, and experts estimate it to be anywhere from two to five million years old.

  1. Glow Worm Caves, Queensland

In the caves of Queensland's National Park, hide thousands of nature's most unusual if not beautiful creatures; the glow worms. Most visitors, as they walk into the cave, feel like they are standing in the Milky Way. Looking closer, the ‘stars’ begin to wiggle and grow. In reality, thousands of glow worms are just going about their daily routine, using their light to produce bait for their food. As a bonus, they happen to create an enchanting and organic display. It’s truly a sight to behold.

  1. Reed Flute Caves, China

Located close to downtown Guilin, this popular attraction is amongst the top famous caves in the world owing to its intricate limestone formations. The beautiful stalactite and stalagmite patterns are accentuated by the colourful lighting, making it a pleasure to walk through the well-maintained cave. Also known as ‘The Palace of Natural Arts’, the cave walls display inscriptions dating back to 8th century BCE.

  1. Fingal’s Cave, Scotland

This incredible sea cave is located on the uninhabited island of Staffa in Scotland. The island is of volcanic origin and is famous for its distinctive hexagonal basalt columns, of which Fingal's Cave is the most striking example. The cave's size, shape, and naturally-arched roof combine with the waves to create eerie sounds that enhance its cathedral-like atmosphere. 

Spelunking, whether done in person or via virtual tours is something you will never regret and it also might end up changing you as a person – most profound trips tend to have that effect. Caving may not be for everyone, but for those courageous enough to venture inside, you’ll certainly have something to talk about at your next family gathering!

Author's Bio: 

The author of this article is a professional having years of experience in the field of Digital Marketing and currently associated with Proxgy. The author is an expert in writing on virtual travel, online video shopping and Digital marketing topics.