Positioned in the Abkhazia region of Georgia, Krubera Cave is the deepest cave that is known on earth. Also known as Voronya or Voronja Cave, it can be found in the heart of the Arabika Massif, a very massive group of high-mountain limestone karst massif of the Gagrinsky Range.
The Arabika Massif, where you will find the Krubera Cave, is composed of limestone was formed eon years ago. This massif, which is separated from the neighboring Bzybsky Massif by the Bzybsky River, ranks among the biggest high-mountain limestone karst massifs in the Western Caucasus region. It is bordered in the southwest by the Black Sea and in the northwest to the east by Sandripsh, Kutushara, Gega and Bzyb river canyons. Krubera Cave can be found in the Ortobalagan Valley, a shallow and perfectly-shaped sub-Caucasian glacial trough.
History and Naming
The numerous caves underneath the Arabika Massif started to form several millions of year ago when the mountains began to rise. What came to be named Krubera Cave was discovered in 1960 when L. Maruashvili led other Georgian speleologists to explore the cave. Decision was made to name the cave after Russian geologist Alexander Kruber, who had carried out some field studies in the Arabika area about four decades earlier. The exploration was, however, abandoned after the speleologists got to a depth of 95 meters due to passages that were too narrow and hard to negotiate. Except for occasional visits by cavers, Krubera Cave was virtually abandoned for the next two decades.
The Alexander Klimchuk-headed Kiev Speleological Club kicked off serious exploration again in 1980. With attention set on the Ortobalagan Valley, this club and several others were able to discover many caves, including five exceeding 1,000m. Before their efforts, there had been no caves exceeding a depth of 310 meters. Exploration has since then revealed the deepest cave anywhere on the face of the earth. It was during the 1980s that the cave started to be known in Russian as “Voronya” Cave, which means Crows’ Cave. This name came about because of the many crows that the speleologists saw in the entrance pit.
The World’s Deepest Cave
Krubera Cave branches into two at a depth of 200 meters. One of these branches, Kuybyshevskaya, has been explored to a depth of 1,293 meters, while the main branch has been explored further deep down. It was in 2001 that Krubera Cave attained the status of the deepest cave in the world. The Ukrainian Speleological Association was able to reach a depth of 1,710 meters into the cave in that year, thereby supplanting Lamprechtsofen cave in the Austrian Alps as the deepest.
Still unsatisfied, the Ukrainian body probed further and soon surpassed a depth of 2,000 meters into the cave, reaching 2,080 meters. But the speleologists soon started to face difficulty with flooded tunnels that are known as “sumps.” Diving then had to be done 52 meters into the terminal sump to bring the overall depth to 2,197 meters in 2012. At that depth, Krubera Cave is not surpassed by any other in the world.
Krubera Cave is a great place for all those in need of adventure that has to do with going as deep as possible into the center of the earth. It is not only for the researchers or speleologists, but for anyone daring enough to go to that great depth. The Ukrainian Speleological Association considers the exploration of the cave an ongoing one. The association extended invitation to cavers to signify interest in taking part in its “Call of the Abyss” mission in 2013. This Arabika Massif cave offers you the opportunity for real, adrenaline pumping action as you head into the deep.
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