Ukraine’s Marble Cave is one of the best-known caves in Chatyr-Dag. Originally discovered in 1987, it quickly became a popular tourist attraction and hot spot for spelunkers. It is known as the jewel in the crown of the Chatyr-Dag peninsula, and it covers more than 60 percent of that famous plateau’s area, and encompassing as much as 40 percent of the karst deposits found there.
There are three distinct parts to Marble Cave the visitor can explore. The Main Gallery is straight and covers 725 meters, the Lower Gallery twists and covers 960 meters, and the so called Tiger Passage is lateral and covers 390 meters. Spelunkers have voted Marble Cave as one of the five most beautiful caves to explore anywhere interestingly.
Inside, visitors will find all the familiar suspects; subterranean rock formations, stalactites, stalagmites, twists, turns, and bends. Speleologists have only explored 2,050 meters inside of the cave so far, so there’s plenty more for the adventurer to write home about here. Unfortunately for the new visitor, only half of the known cave is open via guided tour.
On a unique and interesting note, a massive stone block “face” that greets visitors determines whether tourists can safely explore the cave. Increased humidity, which can cause dangerous conditions for tourists, makes the face appear to be crying. When the cave is safe to traverse, visitors can explore limestone drapes, stalagmites that resemble sculptures, waterfalls, columns, and cascading lakes.
Every inch of the Marble Cave was carved naturally over centuries, so it can be amazing to see just what nature can do with time on her side.