Speleology – a science, exploring the depths of the Earth

The world's highest mountains, the widest and deepest wilderness of waters are already discovered, but the mysterious underworld is still waiting for the researchers. Exploring the maze under the ground is not only difficult and dangerous (cavers have to work under extreme conditions in the dark, damp and cold environment), but also a very exciting, breath – taking adventure, building a deeper (literally!) connection with our Mother Earth, and a possibility to test the limits of human abilities. In this underground world the number of various geographical discoveries – unknown caves and unexplored tunnels – are still waiting for the mankind.

The science, exploring an underground world: the origin of caves, it’s structure, climate, water, wildlife, vegetation and exploration history, is called "speleology" (or caving).


The development of speleology as a science is closely related to caving as a branch of extreme sports. For many “underground tourists“ sports is often the most important motivation to descent into the depths of the Earth and to explore the maze of caves.

In the middle of the nineteenth century the exploration of caves was still only a part of the other kinds of  sciences (geography, geology or archaeology). French scientist Edward Alfred Martel (originally Édouard – Alfred Martel) is called a “father” of the modern speleology – in 1895 he has founded the first caving organization in the world.

The deepest caves in the world:

1. Krubera – Voronya (West Caucasus): – 2191 m;

2. Sarma (West Caucasus): – 1760 m;

3. Ilyuziya – Mezhonogo – Snezhnaya (West Caucasus): – 1753 m;

4. Lamprechtsofen Vogelschacht (Austria): – 1632 m;

5. Gouffre Mirolda / Lucien Bouclier (France): – 1626 m.