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 concentrations 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
Mammoth Cave651.8 km (405.0 mi)[1]near Brownsville, Kentucky, United States1791Mammoth Cave National Park, also a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve
Sistema Sac Actun / Sistema Dos Ojos319.0 km (198.2 mi)[1][2]near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico1987none
Jewel Cave271.335 km (168.6 mi)[1]near Custer, South Dakota, United States1900Jewel Cave National Monument
Sistema Ox Bel Ha256.7 km (159.5 mi)[1][2]near Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico1996southern parts in Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
Optymistychna Cave236.0 km (146.6 mi)[1]near Korolivka, Ukraine1966none
Wind Cave226.1 km (140.5 mi)[1]near Hot Springs, South Dakota, United States1881Wind Cave National Park
Lechuguilla Cave222.6 km (138.3 mi)[1]near Carlsbad, New Mexico, United States1900Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Hölloch200.4 km (124.5 mi)[1]Muotathal, Switzerland1875none
Son Doong Cave194.9 km (121.1 mi)[1]near Laos border Vietnam1981none
Gua Air Jernih197.1 km (122.5 mi)[1]Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia1978Gunung Mulu National Park, also a World Heritage Site

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.