All the sea caves found in the world, Limestone Caves are the most common type. Their formation takes place when rain water picks up carbon dioxide in the air to form a weakened solution called carbonic acid. The presence of this acid in the water eats away at the limestone gradually dissolving it over time to create a cave.
Some Limestone Caves also owe their existence to the process of corrosion where particles found in large amounts of running water or waves grind away at the rocks to wear them away consequently allowing them to take shape. The sheer beauty and enormity of Limestone Caves draw people to it in amazement and wonder. Not only are Limestone Caves common but they are also in majority in many areas of the world. Featured below are some of the most fascinating Limestone Caves.
Cave of The Mounds:
Cave of the Mounds located near Blue Mounds in Wisconsin, USA is a natural Limestone Cave that started to form about a million years ago. Molded from many varieties of mineral deposits and with stalactite and stalagmite formations found inside the cave, Cave of the Mounds is considered the “Jewel Box” of America owing to its beauty.
Jeita Grotto Limestone Caves:
The longest cave in the Middle East is the Jeito Grotto Cave in Lebanon running a length of 9km. Made up of two separate yet interconnected limestone caves with a splendid collection of stalactites and stalagmites, the Jeita Grotto Cave is regarded as the pride of Lebanon. A visit to the cave entails an electric boat ride met with a profound silence deep inside.
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Hida Limestone Cave:
Another beautiful cavern to explore is the Hida Limestone Cave in Japan. It opens up 800 meters below a cascading waterfall and is home to delicate finger-like helictite cave formations. The interior of the cave is beautifully lit up creating a sparkling glow on the walls of the cave and the water beneath. A tour inside the cave is through a long bridge built for the purpose.
The world’s oldest and most breathtaking cave is the Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia. It is the most treasured cave of Australia with its spectacular formations and pure underground rivers making it also the most frequented cave in Australia.
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Limestone Cave and Waterfall:
A Limestone Cave in Catalonia Spain that is bound to rivet anyone’s attention with its pristine waterfall plunging down below. A crevasse in the cave wall allows the rays of the sunlight to filter in making the water sparkle with a golden hue.
The Carlsbad Caverns near Carlsbad in New Mexico houses the world’s seventh largest natural limestone cave chamber popularly known as the Big Room. Measuring 4,000 by 625 feet and 350 feet in height, the caverns are adorned with stalactites, stalagmites and other formations of an astounding variety and can be traversed by ease of access.
The Limestone Cave near Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico boasts of a natural swimming pool. The lighting inside the cave together with the sunlight seeping in through an overhead crevasse reflects a myriad of colours making this cave an absolute delight to revel in.
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Marble cave in the municipality of Lipljan in Kosovo is a karts limestone cave that is believed to have been formed some 80 million years ago. The crowning glory of this cave is that it is made up of marble peaks formed by a rare phenomenon which is the metamorphosis of limestone. Although opened to tourists, much of the cave remains unexplored.
Gouffre Berger Limestone Cave:
The Gouffre Berger Limestone Cave in France, once considered the world’s deepest cave at 3,681 ft is now the 28th deepest cave in the world and the 4th in France. Not to be fooled by its deathly calm, this cave has claimed a number of lives during heavy rain and stormy weather where the water levels rise rapidly.