The Krubera Cave has been known to be one of nature’s most astonishing wonders. At a depth of 2,197 meters, it is now the deepest cave known to man. Initially, it was said to be bottomless, but now professionals were able to successfully map it out.
The cave, which is located in Arabika Massif of the Gagra Range in the western region of the Caucasus in South Russia. The entrance is high up at an altitude of 2,256 meters, with a very narrow entrance. Over the years, cavers have sought to completely discover all the cave’s chambers.
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As soon as you enter 200 meters into the cave, there are two main branches namely the Non-Kuybyshevskaya (explored to the depth of 1,293 m in 2008) and Main (2,197 m deep). Among the biggest challenges that cavers have ever encountered would have to be a sump.
Back in 2007, Crimean diver Gennadiy Samokhin was able to extend the map when he dived into the “terminal sump.” A sump or siphon is a term used in speleology to describe a passage in a cave that is submerged underwater. Some sumps in the Krubera Cave are said to be have waters so cold, many divers feel their fingers going numb after swimming across them. In Samokhin’s case, he was able to dive 150 ft in 2007 and 170 ft in 2012 to extend the cave’s depth. He earned the world record for the deepest cave diving twice for both expeditions.
Krubera Cave, or the Voronya Cave (meaning “crown’s cave” in Russian), has neighboring caves that run up to 1,000 meters deep, but none of them have surpassed that of Kurbera’s. The cave was named after Russian geographer Alexander Kruber.
Currently, the cave’s depth is measured to be the same height as that of six and a half Eiffel Towers stacked on top of each other. The map posted above notes the different routes discovered by explorers, along with how deep they go. Alexander Klimchouk, a Ukrainian caver, found that the trails are just as dangerous as the narrow entrance of the cave, saying that it is a cascading labyrinth filled with narrow passages.
Cavers have highlighted a particularly long passageway called Way to the Dream, but it is far from its pleasant name as it is filled with narrow passages and runs 100 meters long.
Deep and filled with biodiversity
So what else can cavers expect other than a worthwhile adventure around the deepest parts of the earth? The Krubera is home to several creatures as well. A notable one is the species of cave beetle that was only discovered recently. Most of these animals have adapted well to life underground with their hypogean lifestyle.
For those wondering how explorers were able to map out entire cave, Klimchouk explained that cavers utilize dye to keep track of their trails. Camping in Krubera isn’t exactly a walk in the park either, as the cave is so cold, explorers need to huddle together to keep their temperature warm.