Considered as the “Everest of the caves”, Krubera-Voronya cave in Abkhazia near the Black sea is one of the most stunning nature objects on the planet. With the length of the cave passage being over 13 km and the depth reaching more than 2 km in the ground, it is believed to be world’s deepest explored cave. Nowadays it has become a great object of attraction raising the interest among tourists, cavers and scientists.
Initially the cave broke the record in 2001 when Ukrainian speleologists, together with their foreign colleagues managed to reach the depth of 1 710 meters which was 80 meters more than the deepest cave in the world at that time, Lamprechtsofen in Austria. However, the Ukrainians continued their explorations during which the current depth of the cave was discovered, making Voronya cave so far unbeaten record-holder.
An amazing biocenosis inhabits the stunning cave, including beetles, crustaceans, dipterans, spiders, opiliones, pseudo-scorpions, springtails and others. It is also a home of the deepest terrestrial animal found on the planet – endemic species of Plutomurus ortobalaganensis, discovered in 2010. And of course, the view on the walls of the caves is probably one of the most unique experiences a keen caver might ever have. Sandy limestone rocks, breccia and lava rocks, tuff and other minerals can be seen in the cave. There are just too many reasons that make Krubera-Voronya cave every cavers dream, even if exploring it is a difficult, tiring and also dangerous thing to do.
Since 2000, expeditions called “The Call of Abyss” have been taking place in Abkhazia’s Arabika Massif to explore some of the deepest caves in the region and world, involving approximately 50 cavers from all over the world. 2013 was chosen of the year to explore the Voronya cave and the Ukrainian Speleological Association invited any willing caver to participate in the exciting cave diving in the Voronya cave, but the explorations were not always that exciting and wonderful. For example, some Lithuanian cavers faced serious problems when some of the cavers got ill, the rain made the conditions in the cave particularly dangerous and some team even got lost for 24 hours. Luckily, nobody was harmed and the exploration of Voronya – a nature’s wonder that might have more surprises to bring – carries on.