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    19 Surreal Caves You Won't Believe Actually Exist

    This is a gentle reminder that the world is a lot stranger than you're probably accustomed to.

    1. Glowworm Caves in Waitomo, New Zealand

    Martin Rietze / Flickr: 63349090@N08 / Via Creative Commons

    A species of glowworm native only to New Zealand dwell in the ceilings of these caves, resulting in a starlit canopy effect.

    2. Marble Caves in Lago General Carrera, Chile

    ThinkStock
    Dan Lundberg / Flickr: 9508280@N07

    Six thousand years of gentle waves have carved winding tunnels through this boulder, revealing a sapphire-and-emerald marble design.

    3. Mendenhall Ice Caves of Juneau in Alaska, United States

    Andrew Russell / Flickr: 25949441@N02 / Via Creative Commons
    Gillfoto / Flickr: gillfoto
    Andrew Russell / Flickr: 25949441@N02

    This cave sits beneath the Mendenhall Glacier, so the translucent blue ceiling is formed entirely by ice.

    4. Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa in Scotland

    Steve Allen / Shutterstock
    Graeme Pow / Flickr: graeme_pow
    Scott MacLeod Liddle / Flickr: scottliddle

    The strange, geometric rock formations that make up this cave were actually caused by lava flow.

    5. Ice caves in Vatnajokull, Iceland

    Getty Images/iStockphoto photoempt
    ThinkStock / nickpedersen for iStock

    These ice caves are inside an active glacier, so they're constantly in a state of change.

    6. Stephen's Gap in Alabama, United States

    Monongahela Grotto / Flickr: 126463161@N06 / Via Creative Commons
    Getty Images/iStockphoto benjaminjk
    ThinkStock / Jens_Lambert_Photography for iStock

    Stephen's Gap is a vertical cave so when light pours in from the ceiling the effect is even more dramatic.

    7. Sea caves in Algarve, Portugal

    Claire André / Flickr: claireandre

    Much of the Algarve coastline is populated with these limestone caves and grottos.

    8. Baatara Gorge Waterfall in Tannourine, Lebanon

    Getty Images/iStockphoto dkaranouh

    You can view the 800 foot waterfall from a natural bridge that span the width of the pit.

    9. Melissani Cave in Kefalonia, Greece

    Marcus Ward / Flickr: claireandre / Via Creative Commons

    In Greek mythology, the sky-blue waters of Melissani were home to the nymphs, or nature fairies.

    10. Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, United States

    Larry Borreson / Flickr: 24706120@N05 / Via Creative Commons
    Getty Images/iStockphoto benkrut
    Getty Images / iStock mtcurado

    The Carlsbad Cavern is home to The Big Room, a natural limestone chamber that spans over 4,000 feet.

    11. Minnehaha Falls Cave in Minnesota, United States

    MJI Photos / Flickr: capturingwonder / Via Creative Commons

    This seasonal cave only occurs when temperatures drop low enough to freeze the Minnehaha Waterfall mid-cascade.

    12. The Reed Flute Cave in in Guangxi, China

    Christian Ortiz / Flickr: 39483037@N00 / Via Creative Commons
    ThinkStock / Getty iStock
    Bernt Rostad / Flickr: brostad

    These caverns are over 180 million years old and are still a popular tourist attraction in China.

    13. Antelope Canyon in Arizona, United States

    Getty Images/iStockphoto somchaij
    Getty Images John Foxx

    Years and years of flash floods carved a narrow passage through rock to create this brush-stroked canyon.

    14. Eisriesenwelt Cave in Werfen, Austria

    Manuel Scheikl / Flickr: psychoscheiko

    Eisriesenwelt translates to "world of ice giants" in German, which is a fitting name given that Eisriesenwelt is the largest ice cave in the world.

    15. Cenotes in Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

    Flickr: stereotipo / Via Creative Commons
    Getty Images/iStockphoto JoseIgnacioSoto

    These natural sinkholes may have been used by the Mayans for sacrificial offerings many years ago.

    16. Son Doong Cave in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam

    Flickr: whats42 / Via Creative Commons
    Doug Knuth / Flickr: dknuth
    CARSTEN PETER/ SPELEORESEARCH & FILMS/National Geographic Creative

    In 2009 Son Doong became the world's largest known cave. One of its chambers is over three miles long.

    17. Enchanted Well at Chapada Diamantina in Bahia, Brazil

    Danielle Pereira / Flickr: galeria_miradas / Via Creative Commons
    guilherme jofili / Flickr: gjofili
    Danielle Pereira / Flickr: galeria_miradas

    Both gold and diamonds have been found in the clear waters of the Enchanted Well.

    18. The Cave of Giant Crystals in Naica, Mexico

    CARSTEN PETER/National Geographic Creative
    Paul Williams / Flickr: ironammonite

    Some of the largest natural crystals in the world have been found in this cave, but the extreme temperatures (up to 136 degrees) make it difficult for humans to explore the cave at length.

    19. Ice Cave in Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia

    The thin ceiling of this ice cave allows light (and color) to penetrate its rooms.

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