List of longest caves

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Mammoth Cave, the world's longest known cave system

This List of longest caves includes caves in which the combined length of documented passageways exceeds 200 km. In some of these caves, passageways are still being discovered.[1][2]

Geographical distribution[edit]

Caves are found around the world. The largest form in areas of karst landforms whose rocks erode easily. 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 Pennyroyal Plateau of southern Kentucky, United States, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, United States, and in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico.

List[edit]

System Length Location Discovery Associated parks,
protected areas
Mammoth Cave 667.8 km (415.0 mi)[1][3] 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 371.9 km (231.1 mi)[1][2] near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico 1987 none
Jewel Cave 334.8 km (208.0 mi)[1][4] near Custer, South Dakota, United States 1900 Jewel Cave National Monument
Sistema Ox Bel Ha 271.0 km (168.4 mi)[1][2] near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico 1996 southern parts in Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
Shuanghedong Cave Network 257.4 km (159.9 mi)

[5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Guizhou, China 1988 Suiyang Shuanghedong National Geopark
Optymistychna Cave 257.0 km (159.7 mi)[1][10] near Korolivka, Ukraine 1966 Dnistrovskyy Canion
Wind Cave 248.1 km (154.2 mi)[1][11] near Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States 1881 Wind Cave National Park
Lechuguilla Cave 242.0 km (150.4 mi)[1][12] near Carlsbad, New Mexico, United States 1900 Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Clearwater Cave System 236.8 km (147.1 mi)[13][14] near Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia 1978 Gunung Mulu National Park, also a World Heritage Site
Fisher Ridge Cave System 209.2 km (130.0 mi)[1] near Brownsville, Kentucky, United States 1981 partly within Mammoth Cave National Park
Hölloch 204.2 km (126.9 mi)[15][16] Muotathal, Switzerland 1875 none

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Gulden, Bob (2020-01-22). "Worlds longest caves". Geo2 Committee on Long and Deep Caves. National Speleological Society (NSS). Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  2. ^ a b c "List of Long Underwater Caves in Quintana Roo Mexico". Quintana Roo Speleological Survey. National Speleological Society. 2018-07-30. Retrieved 2018-10-22.
  3. ^ "Exploration in the World's Longest Cave" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-12-03..
  4. ^ "Jewel Cave Reaches 200 Miles". National Park Service (NPS). December 19, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Keju, Wang; Jun, Yang (2018-03-27). "Asia's longest cave has many wonders". China Daily. Archived from the original on 2018-10-22.
  6. ^ Hong'e, Mo, ed. (2018-03-25). "Shuanghe Cave in SW China's Guizhou named longest cave in Asia". China News Service. Archived from the original on 2018-11-11.
  7. ^ Xuequan, Mu, ed. (2018-03-24). "Guizhou's Shuanghe Cave named longest cave in Asia". Xinhua. Archived from the original on 2018-11-11.
  8. ^ "贵州绥阳双河洞探测长度超238公里 成亚洲第一长洞".
  9. ^ "贵州双河溶洞长度已达238公里".
  10. ^ "optymistychna is the longest cave in ukraine". ukrainegoodnews.com. 2014-06-04.
  11. ^ "150 miles and counting: Wind Cave celebrates significant milestone". National Park Service (NPS). October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "Lechuguilla Cave". National Park Service (NPS). July 17, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  13. ^ Eavis, Rob (April–May 2016). "What a Rollercoaster". Descent (249): 24–29.
  14. ^ "The Clearwater Cave System". mulucaves.org. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  15. ^ Arbeitsgemeinschaft Höllochforschung AGH. "Forschungsobjekte der AGH". hoellochforschung.ch (in German). Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  16. ^ "Arbeitsgemeinschaft Hoellochforschung AGH" (in German). Archived from the original on 2019-01-19. Retrieved 2017-05-17.