Welcome to Asia’s deepest caves

Cavers stand admiring a pool. Source: Shutterstock

CAVES are spooky but fascinating places. They hold answers to ancient questions such as, how big was the saber-toothed cat and can any animals really live down here?

The deeper fearless explorers go into dark caves, the more the world can learn about prehistoric times, the giants that roamed the earth and the discovery of new species.

Because believe it or not, we are only just skimming the surface of understanding what exists on planet earth.

Here for your spooky entertainment are Asia’s longest and deepest caves.

Shuanghe Cave, China

New kid on the block, Shuanghe Cave has just earned itself the title of Asia’s longest cave after researchers discovered an extra 39 kilometers of cave network.

Shuanghe Cave in southwest China’s Guizhou province was discovered 30 years ago and is now known to consist of 238 kilometers of the main cave, with 143 different passages, five underground rivers, and numerous waterfalls.

The cave remains around 13 degrees all year round and there are plenty of species that call it home, including frogs, salamanders, insects, bats, leeches, blind fish, and lizards.

Other recent discoveries include what appears to be the remains of a giant panda, elephants, and the rhinoceros.

Perhaps the most exciting discovery of all is the remains of a saber-toothed cat which prowled the earth over 11,000 years ago.

Visitors are welcome to enter some parts of the cave and see the eerie limestone habit inside via a head torch, while wondering how a giant panda ended up down there.

Clearwater Cave, Malaysia

Now known as the second longest cave in Asia, the Clearwater Cave can be found in Sarawak’s Gunung Mulu National Park.

The cave is a short boat ride down the river in the national park. Alternatively, you can take a one-hour trek through the forest.

The river runs into the cave where you can sit back and admire the ancient beauty that has been carved out over millions of years by the roaring river.

Of course, the tour won’t take you the whole way down the 207 kilometers of winding river and inside the cave, but you will get to experience the almightiness of Mother Nature. At some points, it may even feel like you’re on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney.

While swimming is forbidden in the cave, feel free to take a swim when you’re back outside.

Dark Star Cave, Uzbekistan

Dubbed the Underground Everest, the Dark Star Cave in Uzbekistan reaches 3,000 feet below the Earth’s surface and there is still so much yet to be explored.

Many climbers have simply run out of rope while trying to descend into the caverns as they don’t realize the sheer scale of it.

While many of the cave’s passages are deep underground, some of them stretch up 10,000 feet above sea level – meaning the air is extremely thin.

So far, researchers have been interested in mapping out the vast networks of the cave, but in the future, the Dark Star Cave is expected to reveal a lot about the way the Earth’s climate has changed.

Stay tuned.