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16 Reasons Why Caves Are Hell On Earth

Cavemen had a really tough time.

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1. So caves are really beautiful and magical places full of fairies right?

2. This is the largest cave chamber in the world, isn't it pretty and roomy?

No you're wrong.
Robbie Shone / shonephotography.com / CC

No you're wrong.

3. Well what if all the light bulbs went huh? Not so pretty then.

And even the most up to date head torches only extend to about 150 feet so when you first wander into a large cave chamber there is going to be lots of little corners you can't quite see.

And even the most up to date head torches only extend to about 150 feet so when you first wander into a large cave chamber there is going to be lots of little corners you can't quite see.

4. Caves go down a really long way.

This a map of the Krubera Cave in Georgia, which at the moment is the deepest known cave on earth. It is the first cave to have been explored to a depth of below 2000m. The cavers who explore these caves spend weeks underground, setting up base camps, a lot like mountaineers, except upside down in the dark. Fun huh?
neversleep.it

This a map of the Krubera Cave in Georgia, which at the moment is the deepest known cave on earth. It is the first cave to have been explored to a depth of below 2000m.

The cavers who explore these caves spend weeks underground, setting up base camps, a lot like mountaineers, except upside down in the dark. Fun huh?

5. And even though a lot of caves are really big. They are also very small at the same time.

In a last ditch effort, Denis Kurta and Dmitry Fedotov squeezed through a narrow, 100-meter-long (328-foot-long) passage called the Way to the Dream, which successfully bypassed the sump and pointed steeply down.

7. THIS DOES NOT LOOK FUN.

8. But we're not that sure that Krubera is the deepest cave, as so many caves are unexplored.

That is the Cave of Crystals in Mexico and it was only discovered in the year 2000 accidentally by miners. And it's only 120 metres below the surface.
en.wikipedia.org

That is the Cave of Crystals in Mexico and it was only discovered in the year 2000 accidentally by miners. And it's only 120 metres below the surface.

9. You're probably sitting on top of the world's deepest cave right now.*

*Probably not. (But maybe...)
commons.wikimedia.org / Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

*Probably not.

(But maybe...)

10. Also things live in caves. And we're not talking about your basic bat here. Things that exist entirely in caves, including whole species that have evolved to live in just one cave.

Like the Devil's hole pupfish, the world's rarest fish, found only in a single cave in Nevada. Sadly these cute little fish are very much on the brink of extinction, with at last count only 35 left. Though recent research suggests that they might not have been around for as long as everyone thinks, and could have been introduced originally through human intervention.
Olin Feuerbacher / commons.wikimedia.org / CC

Like the Devil's hole pupfish, the world's rarest fish, found only in a single cave in Nevada. Sadly these cute little fish are very much on the brink of extinction, with at last count only 35 left.

Though recent research suggests that they might not have been around for as long as everyone thinks, and could have been introduced originally through human intervention.

11. A lot of these unique species are pseudoscorpions, which are tiny horrible mash-ups between scorpions and spiders.

Even though they don't have a tail some of them have venomous pinchers, in case you were worriers about the little fellows all on their own in the dark.
en.wikipedia.org

Even though they don't have a tail some of them have venomous pinchers, in case you were worriers about the little fellows all on their own in the dark.

12. This lives in a cave.

That's the Kaua‘i cave wolf spider. It was only discovered in 1973 and lives in just a few caves in Hawaii. Like a lot of other cave creatures, the Kaua‘i cave wolf spider has evolved to have no eyes at all. A lot of eyeless cave creatures use their eye sockets as fat reserves, and get around with their super nerves detecting tiny temperature or air-pressure changes.
en.wikipedia.org

That's the Kaua‘i cave wolf spider. It was only discovered in 1973 and lives in just a few caves in Hawaii. Like a lot of other cave creatures, the Kaua‘i cave wolf spider has evolved to have no eyes at all.

A lot of eyeless cave creatures use their eye sockets as fat reserves, and get around with their super nerves detecting tiny temperature or air-pressure changes.

13. Cave creatures live forever.

OK not forever, but yhe Orconectes australis crayfish of Shelta Cave in Alabama lives for 175 years, which is basically forever if you're a puny human, and it can still reproduce at 100. This is because the only way they can manage the horrible conditions of the cave, such as hardly any food and very low oxygen levels, is to slow there whole life process down.
commons.wikimedia.org

OK not forever, but yhe Orconectes australis crayfish of Shelta Cave in Alabama lives for 175 years, which is basically forever if you're a puny human, and it can still reproduce at 100. This is because the only way they can manage the horrible conditions of the cave, such as hardly any food and very low oxygen levels, is to slow there whole life process down.

14. "But as long as I just avoid caves I'll be OK right?" WRONG!

Caves are what cause sinkholes, which is when the roof of a cave becomes weakened and then collapses. NOT FUN.
Flickr: seattlemunicipalarchives

Caves are what cause sinkholes, which is when the roof of a cave becomes weakened and then collapses. NOT FUN.

15. To sum up. Caves are really deep, but we don't know how deep.

And most of them are completely unexplored. Lots of them contain unique species only found in that cave. Which means there are almost definitely some new species in all the unexplored caves. To get to these caves you would have to squeeze through lots of horribly small tunnels, which looks like the worst thing ever. And sometimes they collapse and swallow up your house. 😱😭😱😭
adventurejay.com

And most of them are completely unexplored. Lots of them contain unique species only found in that cave. Which means there are almost definitely some new species in all the unexplored caves. To get to these caves you would have to squeeze through lots of horribly small tunnels, which looks like the worst thing ever.

And sometimes they collapse and swallow up your house.

😱😭😱😭

16. In fact geologist Professor Ian Stewart once said this:

😳
Picasa / adventurejay.com / Flo Perry / BuzzFeed

😳