Oddly Curious Discoveries Found in CavesBy Nikita D
There has always been a mystery surrounding caves, and some of the most incredible discoveries have been made inside caves. Caves contain some fascinating finds that have drawn scientists to caves for centuries. Throughout history, humankind sought shelter in caves, which is why our evolutionary past calls out to us. Now, when we forage deep inside long-abandoned caves, we find corpses, life forms, burial grounds, fossils, and many more amazing discoveries.
Even scientists have been left stumped and unable to solve some of the riddles and mysteries that they have found in some cave systems. In the next pages, we are going to see some of the most shocking discoveries that have been made in caves around the world and what they mean to the world and science as we know it.
Located in southeast England, these caves are almost a haunted site. How can caves be haunted, you might think. There are a few carvings in the caves that look like the Devil. This is why the caves have been named Hellfire Caves.
The strange part is that these caves are manmade! So, who made these carvings? The strange and creepy carvings of the devil are enough to keep most people away from the caves. If you are superstitious or get spooked easily, it will be in your best interest to stay away from this place.
There are some underwater caves in Madagascar where a group of divers was exploring the caves and they found the bones of giant lemurs. The freaky part about the findings was that the bones found were more gorilla then lemur size.
However, scientists have not been able to figure out how those bones got inside the caves. Scientists believe that they might have been dragged there by the currents. It is also a point to note, that the ancient world had all sorts of giant creatures that still remain undiscovered. These include giant dragonflies and even deer measuring over 10-feet tall.
Caves Which are Endless
Another cave was discovered, which seems to have no end. Ellison’s Cave is located in northwest Georgia, Ellison’s Cave must have an end, but it is yet to be found. It does have one of the longest- known drops ever found.
The drop in the cave measures an astonishing 586-foot descent. This is around half the height of the Empire State building and 102 floors of that building. To measure the drop, scientists had to navigate through 12 miles of dark and dangerous caves.
The Snot Cave
Yup, it is real! Of course, it is not actual snot but it really does resemble it. There is a cave that is full of a gross gooey substance known as snot. The yucky, sticky substance is actually used to trap bugs when they fly by.
The snotty substance was first discovered in Tobasco, Mexico. The bacteria are considered extremophilic, as it consists of environments where it is difficult the thrive. The snot drips from the ceiling to trap the insects. Needless to say, the cave isn’t exactly pleasant to visit.
The Bat Cave
Around the world, there are many caves that are filled with bats. But none are like the ones we are about to see. In Barangay Tambo, Samal Island, there is a cave where the entire cave is full of bats as far as the eye can see.
The caves themselves are not so great and the depth of the cave is only about 245 feet deep. People don’t visit the bat cave often as they are filled with bats, as the name suggests, and it is rather dangerous too.
There is a cave in Argentina that has unique paintings all over the walls of the caves. It has been worked out that the paintings are probably between 9,500-12,000 years old. If you visit the caves, you will see thousands of handprints all over the wall in different colors.
This prehistoric painting shows that humans liked creative expression even thousands of years ago when we did not have the proper tools to express ourselves. This also shows that the human mind will find areas of expression anywhere possible. A truly remarkable cave, isn’t it?
Caves of Death
Located in Northern Scotland, the Cave of Death was used as a site to leave dead bodies so that the bones could be collected later. Scientists believe that some form of human sacrifice used to occur there, which is why it’s named, Cave of Death.
Heads on pikes, bodies in pits, and other grizzly remains were found by scientists. The caves are pretty tough to navigate, which might come as a blessing for many people who might be happier to not get to see all the gory things that occurred there.
Discovery of Hobbits
Another astonishing discovery was made in an Indonesian cave. This time, it was hobbits! This is, of course, a completely new species of humans, who are much smaller in size. The name given to this species is Homo Floresiensis. These are actually remains of a civilization.
These species only stood at 3-feet tall and got their name as they were found near an Indonesian Island Flores, inside a cave called Liang Bua. Of course, Hobbits do not exist anymore and were last found 50,000 years ago.
Mysteries in A Crystal Cave
When scientists started exploring the cave in Naica, Mexico, they never expected anything, let alone signs of life! When they set foot in the cave, they found crystals that were more than 50,000 years old! They were beyond surprised with their find.
The crystals contained bacteria that survived by digesting minerals such as iron, which existed within the crystal formation. The presence of these live microbes in crystals made scientists wonder if bacteria could survive on another planet in the same form as well.
No one would actually believe that Neantherdals also used to wear jewelry, but it is indeed true. There is a cave where scientists have found old jewelry made of painted shells and other aquatic post-life. The cave dates back some 64,000 years.
Researchers also found Neanderthal paintings in that same cave. The cave is called Cueva de Los Avinoes. The jewelry predates the cave system, around 115,000 years old. The art found here is also some of the oldest ever found.
Cave of Cannibals
In another exciting discovery, there is a Spanish cave where there is evidence of Neanderthal-induced cannibalism. Around 30 bones were found on the site, which were crushed or dented Though scientists knew that humans used to feast on horses and other big animals, this was a surprising and ghoulish find.
The bones even included small bones of children, four adults, and a teenager who lived around 40,000 years ago. The bones have been sawed through to eat the bone marrow and even chewed on excessively. Violence and competition maybe existed between the tribes and this was a way to intimidate the other group.
Glowworm caves or caves of stars was another interesting find by scientists. These phosphorescent bacteria are known to light up beaches, forests, and many other places. This time, scientists found them lining a cave which made for a wonderful and magical experience.
This cave is in Waitomo, New Zealand, and looks almost like a starlit planetarium. The cave was formed 30 million years ago and attracts many visitors due to its surreal beauty. Kayaking in this wondrous cave is a once in a lifetime experience to marvel at this natural phenomenon
Reed Flute Cave
One of the most beautiful caves ever discovered, the Reed Flute Cave is located in Guilin, China. The rocks reflect various colors like blue, purple, and other blended shades. The caves are also known as the “Palace of Natural Arts.”
This unique formation was created about 500,000 years ago. Dating back to the Tang Dynasty, around 792 AD, about 70 ink inscriptions were found in the caves. Another unique thing about this cave is that it was used as a shelter from bombs during WWII.
Skeletal Bone Cave
There is a cave in Africa where many skeletal bones were found. But, what was shocking was is that they were not actually human bones! They were actually bones of an undiscovered human-like species which existed millions of years ago.
The bones which were found were actually of a species called Homo Naledi. The scientists have been unable to figure out how old this species was, but it may be around 3 million years old. The main difference between humans and this species is the size of the skull.
Just like stalagmites, cave pearls are smooth, circular rocks almost like pearls. Stalagmites are created by mineral-laden water in the caves. They form a beautiful effect in the caves, which are a sight to behold. Cave pearls are common in caves, but the number of cave pearls is less.
Cave Pearls are formed when water falls into a cave and loses carbon dioxide and forms into calcite. The result of this formation is a smooth, round dirt rock that is round in shape. After some time, these deposits form into solid rocks with a glaze that almost looks akin to a pearl.
Would you believe that there are caves that hold an entire lake inside themselves? It is a true sight to behold. You can see such a wonder in Melissani, Greece. There you will find a lake of the same name.
Not only do these cave lakes make for great photos, but it is also a lovely, unique place to visit. The waters in the lake are clear and tranquil. You can swim, click photos or just admire this natural wonder.
Blue Hole is a unique kind of cave system which are submerged deep underwater. Most of the blue hole caves can be found in the Bahamas. These blue holes are composed of a carbonated bedrock of coral reef and make for a great place to visit.
The name of these holes is due to the way they look when you view them from above. The caves have a different shade of blue than everything that is around them. The holes are so deep that they extend below sea levels mostly.
When we think of cave formations, stalactites are what come to mind. These huge rocks, which almost drip from the ceiling, form interesting rock formations, which are an impressive sight to see. After many, many centuries, these sediments are collected on to the rock formations.
There are several types of stalactites as well, not just rock ones. There are lava stalactites, limestone stalactites, ice stalactites, and even concrete stalactites. For a truly unique experience, a visit to the Jeita Grotto in Lebanon is a must as it houses the longest stalactite in the world, which is about 27 feet in length.
Stalagmites are also similar to stalactites, but the only difference between both of them is that they form from the ground upwards to the ceiling as they get mineral deposits dipped on to them and not of them. It is still a unique phenomenon, though.
Stalagmites are also of different types, namely: Lava, ice, limestone, and concrete stalagmites. The longest stalagmites can be found in the Doolin Cave in Claire, Ireland. The height of this is around 20 feet, which is truly impressive to see.
Caves Without A Bottom
Just like caves with unbelievable depths that seem to drop to the bottom of the Earth, there are caves where a bottom is yet to be found. Some caves just do not seem to end, even though there have been long expeditions to find the bottom.
One of the deepest caves in the world is Krubera Cave in the Republic of Georgia. The farthest anyone has been able to reach here is 6,824 feet. There are who are still trying to explore the caves but still haven’t found the bottom yet.
Dead Sea Scrolls
Sounds spooky, doesn’t it? Well, the dead sea scrolls sure did exist in the Qumran Caves in the Judaean Desert, on the shore of the Dead Sea. This cave was accidentally discovered by shepherds in 1947 and this was when the first manuscripts was found.
After that, more scrolls were not found, but, other artifacts were found buried later in a cave that was on one of the cliffs in this mountain range. Of the earlier scripts which were found contained texts of the 4th century BC.
Just like other evolutionary animals found in caves, there was another astonishing discovery of blind fish! Why blind, someone might ask? Caves are so dark that evolution might have rendered them without eyes, just like bats who are blind but have echolocation systems.
Like bats, these fish can sense pressure changes in water and use the lateral line to do so. The line actually runs from one fish to another, and it detects shifts in the environments, if any. This entirely new sense makes up for a lack of sight.
Vogelshacht and Lamprechtsofen
Now that we know about the different types of caves that exist, let us talk about the deepest caves in the world. Namely, Vogelshacht and Lamprechtsofen which are located in Salzburg, Austria. The caves are truly huge and explorers continue to dig deep.
As of now, it is known that the caves extend at least 5,354 feet deep, but it may even be deeper than that since this is as far as spelunkers have been able to explore. Potentially, these are the world’s deepest caves.
Formation of Caves
Caves have always enticed interest in humans. The veils of darkness actually hold a lot of underlying beauty. Some caves are at the edge of cliffs, while others are at a lava’s tube. Some caves even formed out of glaciers.
So many caves exist all over the world, which hold some unresolved mysteries we still continue to discover. The journey to uncover these mysteries will be astounding and fascinating for many centuries to come. Many of these caves will undergo wear and tear, and only after 100,000 years will they be wide enough to hold a human.
Caves of Cornwall
Cornwall in the UK has a long coastline, which is more than 400 miles long. This long coastline is full of many natural wonders like caves, which are shrouded in mystery. These caves date back to 500 B.C.
There are stories about this cave of some people visiting the cave and hearing some strange noises and unusual sounds. Some have even reported seeing a weird light phenomenon. Scientists have not been able to figure out why these things are occurring.
If you have a fascination for snakes, then you are in for a treat. The largest snake ever found was living in a Brazilian cave. The snake was a humongous 33-ft, which beat the previous largest snake, which was 10-ft long.
Earlier, the largest snake ever known, and the record holder was called “Medusa.” That snake is now living in Kansas City, Missouri. The snake found in the Brazilian cave was found accidentally by some construction workers who were burrowing in the cave system.
The Panxian cave is a Paleolithic cavern, which is located in a small valley about 1630 m above sea level. Humans were here about 300,000 years ago as well as giant creatures and animals. Let us find out how this is possible.
Though the cave is located many meters above sea level, there is evidence in the cave which proves the existence of giant creatures. Analysis on prehistoric deposits which were found here revealed the existence of elephant-type Stegodons as well as lumbering Rhinoceros.
The Carpathian Mountains in Romania has been holding some astonishing mysteries. A footprint of a 35,000-year-old family was discovered in a cave. 400 footprints were actually discovered here in 1965. The prints were around 10,000 years old.
Located in the Cuir-Izbuc cave in the Western Carpathians of Transylvania, Romania, these footprints were found to be 35,000 years old in later research. One certainly wonders what happened to these people who once lived there and called the cave home..