The underworld has always been an important part of mythologies all around the world. It has held to the reputation of being chaotic, mysterious, dark and other-worldly. Therefore, underwater adventures have a special charm for us all. And if an underwater adventure comes with the added thrill of doing it inside an ancient cave, the surge of excitement shoots through the roof.
We bring you six popular underwater caves from around the world that have inspired generations of divers to explore their depth despite the risks associated. Here you go:
Vrelo Cave, Macedonia
Estimated to be around 330 meters in depth, Vrelo Cave in Canyon Matka, Macedonia is the deepest underwater cave in the world. Surrounded by lakes on either side, Vrelo Cave was listed as one of the top 77 natural sites in the world by New7Wonders of Nature Project. Lending it an appearance of a thriller movie are stalactites that are visible throughout the cave, especially in the centre, as well as bats, eagles and vultures that live in it. You can access the cave on a boat that departs from the Canyon Matka Hotel on select days of the week. Around thousand species of plants can be found in the popular cave.
Boesmansgat Cave, South Africa
Popular as the ‘Bushman’s Hole’, Boesmansgat Cave in Northern Cape Province of South Africa is the sixth-deepest submerged freshwater cave in the world. Though it presents a challenging prospect to divers, the cave has been dived up to the depth of 282.6 metres. It is believed that the underwater moss and the plants in the cave lit up during night, which makes for a mesmerising sight.
Orda Cave, Russia
Stretching over 5 kilometres, Orda Cave is one of the longest caves in the world. The cave is also the largest gypsum cave in the world as well as contains the longest siphon, a passage in a cave that is submerged under water, in Russia. Only 5-metre tall and 2-metre wide entrance of the cave prepares you for the adventure that awaits you ahead. Believed to be one of the first underwater caves to be discovered by explorers, it is so huge that parts of Orda still remain unseen after so many years. It is one of the rare caves where the water is mineral-rich and clear, which makes it a paradise for divers who can see as far as 50 yards underwater. A local myth of a mystical woman called ‘Lady of the Orda Cave’ makes this cave a centre of curiosity for many.
Cuzan Nah Loop, Mexico
Located in the Sak Aktun cave system under the Yucatan Peninsula, Cuzan Nah Loop in Mexico is the world’s longest cave. The long stalactites that are hanging down at most parts of the cave lend it a stunning and breathtaking beauty. With a consistent depth throughout, the cave is an excellent place for new divers to get diving experience at a mesmerising location.
Bahamas Cave System, Bahamas
The blue holes of Bahamas are one of the most dangerous caves in the world to explore. The cave is constituted of sticks that are formed from the mineral deposit. These sticks are so fragile that you could break them with a kick of your leg. These caves are explored only by expert divers as the water here has layers of poisonous hydrogen sulphide as well as a few dangerous water-animals that inhabit it.
Chinhoyi Caves, Zimbabwe
A group of limestone and dolomite caves in Zimbabwe, the Chinhoyi Caves have been designated as a national park by Zimbabwe Parks & Wildlife Management Authority. The cave’s cobalt blue water allows diving all throughout the year. The visibility remains clear, and temperatures remain within the desirable range. Ultra deep diving is common, but undertaken only by expert divers.