Spread across the world, our 10 Coolest Caves will definitely inspire you to dig into the depths of the Earth. Some are icy, others are home to all kinds of creatures that roam their damp interiors, and all are fucking fascinating works of natural art.
A massive 600 foot, ridgy hole in the side of Mount Elgon, this cave doubles as a baby elephant graveyard. You see, the interior of Kitum is covered with salt and all kinds of animals trek here every night to give the walls some tongue action. The younger, clumsier elephants sometimes fall to their deaths. Don't be sad, it's just nature. While the size of most caves depends on things like erosion and volcanic activity, Kitum's constant expansion is mostly caused by animals headbutting and breaking off chunks of the interior to get their salty fix.
OTP Fun Fact: Along with decomposing elephant carcasses, there is a lot of animal shit in here which has caused several outbreaks of deadly viruses.
The loosest slot on the block, the Krubera Cave is the longest (8,346 ft) and deepest (7,188 ft) in the world. Located in the far reaches of rough Georgian terrain, it's an incredible bitch to get to and is only accessible for about four months of the year. Pro cavers have been digging around for ages in an attempt to measure how massive it really is. Expeditions have found all kinds of never before seen insects and plants, including sea life in the cave's underground waterfall.
Nigardsbreen Ice Cave
In the Nigardsbreen region of Norway lies a blingin' cave in the middle of a glacier. All those Humvees in the 90s may have contributed to the melting of the world's glaciers, but at least we got this fucking ridiculously beautiful cave out of the ordeal. Spear-pointed icicles hang from the ceiling, dripping water into a frigid lagoon and light glistens through its interior to create a deep blue glow. While visiting the icy monster is possible, it's slippery as fuck and catching an icicle to the throat during the summer months isn't entirely absurd. That said, if upside down ice skating was a thing, this cave would be the ultimate skating rink.
Aging cheese to just the right amount of funk often requires a poorly ventilated, filthy cave and France is filled with them (and they're filled with cheese). Traditionally, smelly blue-veined cheeses are made by throwing a piece of sourdough bread in a cave, letting it get good and moldy, then incorporating the gross crumbs with fresh cheese, before throwing the cheese into the cave until the perfect stank is achieved. The French are proud of their smelly cheeses, particularly Roquefort, which has been made in this fashion for over a thousand years. The Societe des Caves Roquefort, where tons of authentic Roquefort is joyously rotting, are open for tours to those who are into brutally abusing their nostrils.
Cave of Swallows
To remind yourself of how insignificant humans are, stick your face at the edge of this cave and brace yourself for a sinking feeling as it swallows you whole. This almost endless pit is the setting for every free-falling nightmare you've ever had. In fact, you can make those dreams come true by BASE jumping into this giant 200 ft shaft. Just make sure not to get your eyes gouged out by the flocks of forest birds that fly in and out of this deep hole daily.
Everyone likes a good witch tale, especially one that involves turning things into stone. The English are witch hunting experts and this Mother Shipton bitch was crazy. She walked around casting spells and making nutty predictions, like that the world would end by 1881. All of her predictions never came to fruition, but she did figure out how to turn everyday objects into stone. By dipping things in the nearby mineral-rich well and letting them dry for three to five months, she was able to create stone nick-knacks that spooked everyone the fuck out. You can visit her cave dwelling to check out the shit she stoned and stick a few dolls heads in the well to test out the waters for yourself.
This grotto is amazing in every way, including really sexy natural lighting and a huge salty lake. The interior almost looks like Neptune got decorating tips from Martha Stewart. The grotto is accessible by either sea (when it's calm) or a serpentine stairway consisting of 654 steps that lead from a parking lot into the cave.
OTP Tip: The grotto is popular among tourists, so if you're planning some Heff-type action, know that you'll have an audience of up to 200 fannypackers at any given time.
Kyrk Gyz (a.k.a. Cloth Cave)
Like your college dorm on laundry day, this cave only looks like it's covered in colorful stalactites. But don't let those Turkmen pull the wool over your discerning eyes: The rocks are actually bits of cloth. Kind of like throwing pennies in a wishing well, over the years people have tossed mud pies with cloth bits up into the cave in hopes that their wishes of health, wealth, and hard-ons would be granted. Rip those annoying hanger ribbons off your shirt and toss them up there; maybe this year Santa will bring you something naughty.
Humans are hardwired to think shiny, glowing things are fascinating. Indulge your inner five year old by visiting New Zealand's Glowworm Caves, where the bioluminescent “worms” work around the clock to bring you the trippiest light show you've ever seen. So who are these worms? Well, the glow is actually emanating from some pretty gross, stringy mucus that fungus gnats leave behind as they crawl around the cave looking for grub.
Hang Sung Sot
Hang Sung Sot is often referred to as the “Cave of Surprises.” Surprise! There's a huge penis sticking straight up in there somewhere, illuminated by a bright pink light to make sure you don't miss it. Although the man-made lighting in here makes it look a little like a casino, the array of colors bouncing off the rock formations, naturally enclosed in several cave chambers, is a unique sight to see.
Sure the world has much to offer above-ground but you'll find some amazing shit if you turn your eye downward. Icy giants, cheese-filled stink holes, and glowing spit receptacles await your curious visit.