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

SystemLengthLocationDisco­veryAssociated parks,
protected areas
1Mammoth Cave651.8 km (405.0 mi)[1]near Brownsville, Kentucky, United States1791Mammoth Cave National Park, also a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve
2Sistema Sac Actun / Sistema Dos Ojos319.0 km (198.2 mi)[1][2]near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico1987none
3Jewel Cave267.6 km (166.3 mi)[1]near Custer, South Dakota, United States1900Jewel Cave National Monument
4Sistema Ox Bel Ha256.7 km (159.5 mi)[1][2]near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico1996southern parts in Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
5Optymistychna Cave236.0 km (146.6 mi)[1]near Korolivka, Ukraine1966none
6Wind Cave226.1 km (140.5 mi)[1]near Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States1881Wind Cave National Park
7Lechuguilla Cave222.6 km (138.3 mi)[1]near Carlsbad, New Mexico, United States1900Carlsbad Caverns National Park
8Hölloch200.4 km (124.5 mi)[1]Muotathal, Switzerland1875none
9Gua Air Jernih197.1 km (122.5 mi)[1]Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia1978Gunung Mulu National Park, also a World Heritage Site
10Fisher Ridge Cave System194.9 km (121.1 mi)[1]near Cave City, Kentucky, United States1981Mammoth Cave National Park

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bob Gulden (November 18, 2013). "Worlds longest caves". Geo2 Committee on Long and Deep Caves. National Speleological Society (NSS). Retrieved December 19, 2013. 
  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.