[an error occurred while processing this directive] [an error occurred while processing this directive]

Deepest Cave
MAY 2005
Feature Main Page
Photo Gallery
On Assignment
Learn More
Interactive Cave Map
Cave Race
Read reports from Mexico's Cheve Cave. 
Cave Race promo
Deadly Heaven:
Mexico's poisonous cave.
Deadly Heaven promo

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Learn More
In Learn More the National Geographic magazine team shares some of its best sources and other information to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects. Special thanks to the Research Division.

Content Jump Links:
 Did You Know?  
 Related Links  
 NGS Resources  

Did You Know?Did You Know?

In October 2004 a the team from the Call of the Abyss project descended 1.2 miles (1.9 kilometers) into Krubera Cave, making it the world's deepest cave. But what is the world's longest cave? That would be the Mammoth Cave system in central Kentucky. The total length of its labyrinth of limestone passages is not known, but some 350 miles (560 kilometers) have been mapped. (Optimisticheskaya Cave in Ukraine is the next longest at about 130 miles (210 kilometers).) Archaeological evidence indicates people have been using Mammoth Cave for thousands of years. Modern explorations began in the late 18th century and in the 19th century the cave was mined for nitrate, used in making gunpowder for the War of 1812. In 1941 Mammoth Cave National Park was established to preserve its underground caverns, lakes, and passages, and in 1981 it was designated a World Heritage site.
—Abigail A. Tipton

Related Links

Virtual Cave
Visit this site and with the click of a mouse, browse the wonders of the underground by exploring caves through words and photographs.

This online quarterly journal publishes peer-reviewed articles on caves and the evolution of karst systems.

Find information on the technology and equipment needed to explore the underground realm as well as access to discussion groups and articles on caving.

Longest and Deepest Caves
Curious as to which caves are the deepest and the longest? Log on to this site and find out.


Courbon, Paul, and others. Atlas of the Great Caves of the World. Cave Books, 1989.

Jackson, Donald Dale. Underground Worlds. Time-Life Books, 1982.

McClurg, David R. The Amateur's Guide to Caves & Caving. Stackpole Books, 1973.

NGS Resources

Roberts, David. "Descent into the Maya Underworld." National Geographic (November 2004), 36-53.

Taylor, Michael Ray. "Mapping a Virgin Cave." National Geographic Traveler (October 2003), 68, 70-1.

Crouch, Gregory. "
Depth Chargers: Caves of Oman." National Geographic (April 2003), 38-55.

am Ende, Barbara Anne. "Race to the Bottom of the World." National Geographic Adventure (June/July 2002), 96-102, 114-6.

Clottes, Jean. "France's Magical Ice Age Art: Chauve Cave." National Geographic (August 2001), 104-21.

Eliot, John L. "
Deadly Haven: Mexico's Poisonous Cave." National Geographic (May 2001), 70-85.

Miller, Thomas. "Inside Chiquibul: Exploring Central America's Longest Cave." National Geographic (April 2000), 54-63.

Taylor, Michael Ray. Caves: Exploring Hidden Realms. National Geographic Books, 2000.
E-Mail this Page to a Friend