List of longest caves

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Mammoth Cave, the world's longest known cave system

The following is a list of the world's 10 longest caves per length of documented passageways. Many passageways are still being discovered; this list is based on the latest verifiable data.[1][2]

Geographical distribution[edit]

Caves are found around the world. The largest form in areas of karst landforms whose rocks erode easily and create caves. Preferable conditions for cave formation are adequate precipitation, enough plants and animals to produce ample carbon dioxide, and a landscape of gentle hills which drains slowly. The highest concentration of long caves in the world are found in the Pennyrile of Southern Kentucky, USA, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA, and in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico.

System Length Location Disco­very Associated parks,
protected areas
1 Mammoth Cave 651.8 km (405.0 mi)[1] near Brownsville, Kentucky, United States 1791 Mammoth Cave National Park, also a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve
2 Sistema Sac Actun / Sistema Dos Ojos 319.0 km (198.2 mi)[1][2] near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico 1987 none
3 Jewel Cave 267.6 km (166.3 mi)[1] near Custer, South Dakota, United States 1900 Jewel Cave National Monument
4 Sistema Ox Bel Ha 256.7 km (159.5 mi)[1][2] near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico 1996 southern parts in Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
5 Optymistychna Cave 236.0 km (146.6 mi)[1] near Korolivka, Ukraine 1966 none
6 Wind Cave 226.1 km (140.5 mi)[1] near Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States 1881 Wind Cave National Park
7 Lechuguilla Cave 222.6 km (138.3 mi)[1] near Carlsbad, New Mexico, United States 1900 Carlsbad Caverns National Park
8 Hölloch 200.4 km (124.5 mi)[1] Muotathal, Switzerland 1875 none
9 Gua Air Jernih 197.1 km (122.5 mi)[1] Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia 1978 Gunung Mulu National Park, also a World Heritage Site
10 Fisher Ridge Cave System 194.9 km (121.1 mi)[1] near Cave City, Kentucky, United States 1981 Mammoth Cave National Park

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bob Gulden (November 18, 2013). "Worlds longest caves". Geo2 Committee on Long and Deep Caves. National Speleological Society (NSS). Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "List of Long Underwater Caves in Quintana Roo Mexico". Quintana Roo Speleological Survey. NSS. January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2014.