Top 5 Most Amazing Caves In The World
5. Cave of Crystals (Mexico): world’s largest known natural crystals
Known as “the Sistine Chapel of crystals,” Mexico’s Cueva de los Cristales (Cave
of Crystals) contains some of the world’s largest known natural
crystals—translucent beams of gypsum as long as 36 feet (11 meters). The cave is
950 feet (290 meters) underground. The Naica mining complex, which yields lead,
zinc, copper, silver, and gold, zigzags nearly half a mile underground (760
meters). Deep inside Naica mountain, the Cave of Crystals is a horseshoe-shaped
cavity in limestone rock about 30 feet (10 meters) wide and 90 feet (30 meters)
Volcanic activity that began about 26 million years ago created Naica mountain
and filled it with high-temperature anhydrite gypsum. When magma underneath the
mountain cooled and the temperature dropped, the anhydrite began to dissolve.
The anhydrite slowly enriched the waters with sulfate and calcium molecules,
which for millions of years have been deposited in the caves in the form of huge
selenite gypsum crystals.