Scientists Discover New Species in World’s Deepest Cave

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The Krubera cave has long been home to numerous wonders. In fact the place is a natural wonder itself. It is by far the deepest cave around the world, so it is safe to say that its depth has not been completely explored.

A species of ground beetle was recently discovered in 2014, and scientists continue to study how they continue to thrive in the cave’s harsh environment. The creature is also blind, but apparently, it has adapted well in the deepest part of the Krubera Cave where the light cannot reach.

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Scientific name: Duvalius abyssimus

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“The new species of cave beetle is called Duvalius abyssimus. We only have two specimens, a male and a female. Although they were captured in the world’s deepest cave, they were not found at the deepest point,” researcher Vicente Ortuño declared. He and his partner, Ana Sofía Reboleira, are both researchers who have dedicated the past ten years in studying subterranean fauna. Their new discovery was published in their scientific journal titled Zootaxa.

The Duvalius abyssimus has called the Krubera-Voronya cave home. It has also garnered the nickname “Everest of the Caves” because it spans -2,191 m below the Earth’s surface—that is about seven Eiffel Towers in height!

Read on below to discover more about this cave of wonders.

Krubera-Voronya Cave

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The Krubera Cave runs 2,197 meters (7,208 feet) and is the deepest cave on Earth. It is situated in Arabika Massif, the largest limestone mountain of the Western Caucasus in Abkhazia, Georgia. The mountain nestles other caves that are said to have developed more than 5 million years ago. While five of these caves span more than a thousand meters deep, Krubera surpasses over them. The cave extends a staggering 8,346 miles, prompting Russians to dub it as Voronya Cave, which literally translates to “crow’s cave.”

While the Krubera Cave sounds like an adventurer’s dream come true, its depths are extremely dangerous to explore. Seasoned potholers have noted its narrow entrance, and over the years, it needed to be carved so people can explore its chambers safely. Other noticeable passages have also been said to be as large as a subway tunnel.

Speleologists who have explored the cave thoroughly were challenged by the numerous sumps, a term that refers to flooded tunnels. The cavers needed to make use of diving gear since they would encounter really deep parts of the cave—one of these so called sumps was measured to be about 52 meters deep.

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The biodiversity in Krubera-Voronja is known to be vast and thriving. Scientists have discovered several species of arthropods belonging to different groups, including crustaceans, springtails, spiders, and even pseudoscorpions. A number of transparent fishes have also been found thriving in the waters that have a temperature of two degrees.

All these creatures are said to be able to infiltrate up to -2140 meters below the ground, and other than the Duvalius abyssimus, a new species of beetle was also discovered called the Catops cavicis. With this new discovery, only time can tell about what other secrets the mysterious Krubera- Voronja cave holds.

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