Ice caves are one of the mysterious artworks that mother nature has ever made. The beauty and the magnificent view that it brings, this kind of natural cave contains significant amounts of permanent ice or at least a portion of the cave have a temperature below 0 °C all year round. Cool right? Yes, it is literally super cool inside these caves. Water traveled into the cave’s cold zone also known as a glacier.
Here are some places we can witness one of the best nature’s artworks, the ice caves:
Eisriesenwelt ice cave, Austria
Eisrienwelt a German word, meaning “for a world of the ice giants”. It is a natural limestone ice cave located in Werfen, Austria, about 40 km south of Salzburg. The cave is inside the Hochkogel Mountain in the Tennengebirge section of the Alps. It is the largest ice cave in the world extending more than 42km and visited by about 200,000 tourists every year. The caves were officially discovered in 1879 by an Austrian natural scientist named Anton Posselt was soon forgotten by the society. Only the residents of Werfen were aware of the caves existence, believing it to be a gateway to Hell. For many years, the caves remained unexplored, but in 1912, Alexander von Mork led several expeditions and later followed by others. When the first routes in the mountains were created, the caves soon rose to fame as tourists began to flourish in the area.
Kamchatka ice cave, Russia
Would you believe this place can be defined as a place of the land of ice and fire? This strange looking ice cave is located on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. The half-mile-long cave was formed by a hot water spring flowing beneath the glacial ice fields at the bottom of the Mutnovsky volcano. Because glaciers on Kamchatka volcanoes have been melting in recent years, the roof of this cave is now so thin that sunlight comes through the thin layer of ice and snow and creates an unbelievable sight.
Big Four Ice Caves, Washington
Big Four Mountain is a mountain in the Cascade Range of Washington, located 21 miles east of Granite Falls. The mountain is about 6,135 ft high and on its north flank, debris piles form from avalanches and are able to remain their year-round because of the continuous shade provided by the mountain. During the summer, snow-melt streams flow beneath the debris piles and cause caves to be formed in the ice.
Mount Erebus Ice Caves, Antartica
Currently the most active volcano in Antarctica and the southernmost active volcano on Earth, the Mt. Erebus volcano have a 1,700-degree Fahrenheit lava lake, a swirling pool of magma many miles deep and one of only five that exist in the world. Located in Mt. Erebus are numerous complicated ice caves. Discovered in 1841 by polar explorer Sir James Clark Ross, it was easy to identify Mt. Erebus as a volcano as it was erupting at the time. Later, polar explorer Ernest Shackleton would make the first ascent of Mt. Erebus in 1907 on the Nimrod Expedition. Ice form in the course of hot gasses traveling up through cracks and fractures in the volcanic rocks surrounding the Erebus summit has created an intricate system of ice caves all over the mountain. Because of the gas, the ice caves stay a consistent 32 degrees, making them a likely spot.
Ice Pavilion, Switzerland
A 70-meter long tunnel leads into the thousands of years old ice of the Fairy Glacier, to what is most probably the world’s largest ice pavilion. The over 5,500 cubic meters large grotto, located at the Mittelallalin stop of Metro Alpin, the subterranean Alpine train at an altitude of 3,456 meters above sea level, offers an in-depth view of the interior of the glacier. It is a long, lighted tunnel leads to a network of caves, whose size rivals Eisriesenwelt in Austria. Perhaps even more amazing than the natural ice formations are the ice sculptures scattered.
Well, if I have the chance to visit it all, I would really love to do it with all my heart. As they said the purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.