Caves have long been a source of mystery to mankind. Countless men and women have explored their depths in the hopes of finding treasure, or just for sheer adventure! Most of these trips require a map to lead thrill seekers inside, however, getting out can be just as important.
In the fall of 2013, a couple spelunkers set out for a legendary cave — one with quite a secret location, according to Imgur user Thaturksme. Like Alice chasing the white rabbit, these avid explorers did not hesitate. Armed to face unknown dangers, they pushed through the underground maze only to stumble upon something they weren’t prepared for…
When one Imgur user and a friend found a cave previously thought to be a myth, they knew they had to go back. Filled with curiosity, these two brave hearts returned to the cave, but this time with weapons and a flashlight.
After a long hike up and down several hills throughout the forest, they reached the cave once more. It was tricky to find since they only had one marker to look for: a large hole in the ground underneath a tree.
One of the greatest dangers about relatively unexplored caves is figuring out how to leave them if you get turned around, and this cave was no exception. It seemed there was just one entrance, also making it the only exit…
At some points, the cave’s passages became very narrow and tight, forcing the two men to explore parts alone. One of them even had to crawl on his belly with his torch attached to his gun, ready to blast away any danger in an instant.
For a more silent kill, the two explorers also brought along a hunting machete. This is a better tool for cave exploration since it won’t ricochet against the cave walls. It can also be used to cut through any greenery that may be in the way.
Thaturksme described the cave like a maze, full of tunnels and dark corners. Most of the passageways were shallow and led to dead ends, but one particular side of the cave led them to a fascinating discovery.
Thaturksme and his friend claim to have seen animal tracks or “paw prints” on the cave floor (below). Though the markings are in question, what they encountered next was for certain.
The adventurers soon stumbled upon something gruesome: animal bones, most likely from legs. Due to the overexposure in Thaturksme’s photos, the bones are difficult to identify, but they are definitely not human…
If the bones didn’t scare off the explorers, what they saw next definitely did. On their way out of the cave, they realized the walls were lined with what Thaturksme describes as “giant cricket-spider hybrids”. Eek!
The two quickly bolted out of the cave, because who wants to be in a confined space infested by enormous bugs? Thankfully, they lived to tell the tale and didn’t need to use any of their heavy duty weaponry.
Finding animal remains is not uncommon when exploring caves. In 2011, divers found a skeleton of a possibly extinct type of crocodile in the freshwater caves of the Dominican Republic.
In 2012, in the Maestrazgo Caves of Teruel, Spain, a team of scientists from the University of Navarra and the Catalan Association of Biospeleology discovered three new species of arthropods, like insects, spiders, and crustaceans.
These beautiful little glowing lights are not what you might expect. They are actually another animal found in caves. They’re called “glowworms” and can be seen in Waitomo, New Zealand.
Something you can find in many caves are stalagmites and stalactites. These are mounds formed of calcium salts, deposited by dripping water. Stalagmites go up, and stalactites go down.
You can even find natural light in some caves! We tend to associate caves with dark, damp, gloomy places, but this beach cave in Algarve, Portugal begs to differ. You can stay cool in the shade or catch a tan under the “skylight.”
You can find ginormous crystals in Naica, Mexico. The main chamber of this cave is full of Selenite crystals. Sadly, this cave is currently inaccessible, but if you like what you see, you can buy small pieces of Selenite crystals in your local mineral shop!
In some caves, you may not only find a little stream of water, but a whole waterfall running through the cave or covering its entrance. You may need to bring a proper raincoat if you want to visit this gorgeous spot in Tannourine, Lebanon.
The Sarawak Chamber is the largest known cave chamber in the world by area and the second largest by volume after the Miao Room in China. This great chamber can be found in the Good Luck Cave, located in the Malaysian State Sarawak.
Although you can find great large chambers in some caves, others can make anybody reel with claustrophobia. Imagine entering a tiny cave hole with the risk of getting stuck underground. No thanks!
Lastly, we tend to think caves are just brown, grey, or mossy, but you can find the most beautiful colors in some caves! The Antelope Canyon in Arizona, in the United States, ranges from orange to pink to purple. Can you imagine a lovelier background for your family vacation snapshots?