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 concentrations of long caves in the world are found in the Pennyrile of Southern Kentucky, United States, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, United States, and in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico.

System Length Location Discovery Associated parks,
protected areas
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
Sistema Sac Actun / Sistema Dos Ojos 335.0 km (208.2 mi)[1][2] near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico 1987 none
Jewel Cave 292.7 km (181.9 mi)[1] near Custer, South Dakota, United States 1900 Jewel Cave National Monument
Sistema Ox Bel Ha 257.1 km (159.8 mi)[1][2] near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico 1996 southern parts in Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
Optymistychna Cave 236.0 km (146.6 mi)[1] near Korolivka, Ukraine 1966 none
Wind Cave 229.7 km (142.7 mi)[1] near Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States 1881 Wind Cave National Park
Lechuguilla Cave 222.6 km (138.3 mi)[1] near Carlsbad, New Mexico, United States 1900 Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Clearwater Cave/Gua Air Jernih 215.3 km (133.8 mi)[3] Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia 1978 Gunung Mulu National Park, also a World Heritage Site
Fisher Ridge Cave System 200.5 km (124.6 mi)[1] near Brownsville, Kentucky, United States 1981 none
Hölloch 200.4 km (124.5 mi)[1] Muotathal, Switzerland 1875 none

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bob Gulden (January 10, 2016). "Worlds longest caves". Geo2 Committee on Long and Deep Caves. National Speleological Society (NSS). Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  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. 
  3. ^ Eavis, Rob (April–May 2016). "What a Rollercoaster". Descent (249): 24–29.