Veryovkina Cave: The Deepest Cave in the World

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Beware: You should never explore wild caves alone or without proper gear. Consider getting in touch with a Grotto of the National Speleological Society at or a qualified cave club. These groups are skilled and will train you. Without sufficient knowledge, preparation, and equipment, cave exploring can lead to serious injury or death.

Veryovkina Cave holds the title for the deepest known cave in the entire world. Despite its location underground, it contains a remarkable array of stalagmites and stalactites that have been formed over thousands of years by water seeping through the rocks and dissolving them.

Over 30 rock formations within the Veryovkina cave include canyons, sinkholes, and sheer mountain walls. This article explains the history, discovery, and depth of the Veryovkina cave. While we may find another contender one day, or have another cave change similar to the way certain cave systems have been altered, for many years now, this is as deep as it gets when it comes to caves.

A climber looks up at water falling from above in Veryovkina Cave.

Where is Veryovkina Cave Located?

Veryovkina Cave is located in the Abkhazia, Georgia Ural Mountains of Russia. In 1968, only 377 feet (115 m) of it were charted. Since then, additional expeditions have increased its depth to more than 1.3 miles (2.1 km). They have crowned it the deepest cave since then, slightly surpassing Krubera Cave.

This vertical cave system lies between two mountains, Fortress and Umbrella, in the Arabika Massif of the Western Caucasus, forming a natural entrance to this intriguing underworld.

This is the deepest-known Cave, with its entrance 1.4 miles (2.285 km) above sea level. It contains the world’s deepest known underground pool of water at 1.39 miles (2.24 km) below sea level.

The cave entrance is 3 meters wide by 4 meters high. The entrance shaft is 105 feet deep. The Cave was officially named Verëvkin’s after caver and cave diver Alexander Verëvkin, who died while exploring another siphon in Su-Akan.

Geology of The Region

The Arabika Massif is a mountainous area crisscrossed with caves, including several of the world’s deepest. The limestone formation has more than two kilometers of Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous layers.

A look at the Arabika Massif region mountains from a distance. This area contains several caves including Veryovkina Cave.
Arabika Massif

In the Arabika Massif, there are a lot of caves to explore. Until recently, Veryovkina Cave was too challenging to access.

It took dozens of expeditions by speleologists and nearly 50 years to finally claim the record. Members of Moscow-based speleological clubs reached the absolute depth in 2018.

The round trip from top to bottom and back takes professional speleologists about a week. It’s still dangerous to say the least. A team of researchers almost drowned in a sudden flood at the bottom of the camp. Despite this danger, they keep working deep inside.

Discovery Of Veryovkina Cave

 In 1968, cavers from Krasnoyarsk discovered this Cave while searching for another underground cavern nearby and marked it as S-115 on their map after reaching a depth of 377 feet (115 m).

Then, it was discovered by an expedition from Perovo Speleo Club in Moscow. They marked it as P1-7.

From 1983 to 1986, explorers from the same team continued their work and reached a depth of 1,440 feet (440 m). Cave exploration was suspended from 1986 to 2000.

Exploration Of Veryovkina Cave After the Year 2000

For 15 years, starting in 2000, cave explorers from the Perovo Speleo Club researched the cave bottom. Despite their extensive efforts to drill deeper, they could never reach new depths.

In August 2015, members of the Perovo Speleo Club discovered a new shaft. The fact that no rope was available prevented them from entering it then. However, this discovery would later lead to further exploration and findings by other cavers.

A look at the incredible vertical ascent of Veryovkina Cave, as several climbers make their way up.

In June 2016, cavers known as Perovo-speleo began exploring a pit about 30 meters deep. They found tunnels leading to larger rooms below the surface from which they could continue further into the cave system.

The day after Evgenyj Kuzmin climbed over the wall of boulders, he found the head of the Babatunda’s pit. He later determined its depth to be about 300 feet (91 m). That expedition reached a depth of 2,070 feet (630 m), roughly double what had been achieved in previous attempts.

In August 2016, a joint expedition of Perovo-speleo and the Speleo Club “Perovo” reached 1,010 meters below the surface. By October 2016, the “Perovo-speleo” team had reached a depth of 4,430 feet (1,350 m).

In February 2017, the depth was 6,010 feet (1,832 m).

In early August 2017, the speleo club “Perovo” explored a cave to a depth of 7,057 feet (2,151 m). They discovered an ancient aquifer system that extends horizontally instead of vertically like most Arabika Massif caves.

Veryovkina became the second super-deep Cave (over 2 km) and the deepest that could be explored without scuba gear.

The Big Moment

In late August 2017, the “Perovo speleo” team reached a depth of 7231 feet (2,204 meters), setting a new world record. An intricate system of more than 3.7 miles (6 km) was found below -1.3 miles (-2.1 km).

In March 2018, a second expedition to the cave system added more than one kilometer of new tunnels to the map. They also measured the length of The Last Nemo Station terminal siphon lake, 8.5 meters (28 feet). This section of Poás Volcano’s caves is 2 212 meters deep.

In September 2018, a team of cave divers led by Pavel Demidov set off on an expedition to the bottom level of the Perovo Cave. They were accompanied by Robbie Shone, an English photographer who has spent much time exploring caves in Ireland and Wales.

In August 2019, the final cave length was surveyed at 7,257 feet by members of the Perovo-speleo club.

Species Found In The Cave

The Cave contains 15 species of invertebrates, but there are most likely more. Among these creatures is a sponge belonging to the Dina genus, an endemic species that lives only in Arabika Massif’s deepest caves.

In addition, other organisms include pseudoscorpions, amphipods (a type of shrimp-like crustacean), daddy longlegs (also known as harvestmen or “spider crabs”), spiders, and ticks, all belonging to scarce species that are found only in some nearby caves.

The shrimp Xiphocaridinella Demidovi is a species that has only been found in Veryovkina Cave and can be found only at the deepest point of Nemo Lake, the Last Camp.

The species was named after Pavel Demidov, a researcher of Veryovkina Cave who died in 2020 while exploring another cave nearby. This is an example of the extreme dangers those working at these sites face.

An image shows the way climbers set up camp inside Veryovkina Cave as they descend.
How to set up camp in Veryovkina Cave.

Veryovkina Cave Flood

In 2018, Veryovkina Cave experienced its first significant flooding incident, so disastrous that it nearly spelled catastrophe for an entire expedition. Photographer Robbie Shone was there to document the event.

That year, Shone and his assistant, Jeff Wade, joined the Russian expedition team that had made their world-record descent to the bottom of Veryovkina earlier that year. They searched for new species and checked out some crevasses they thought might lead them deeper into unknown passageways.

In the Cave’s most profound, sandy, flat-bottomed camp one morning, disaster struck while the team of cavers was sitting and eating breakfast. The cavern started shaking as though an earthquake had hit, but this tremor wasn’t natural.

An enormous torrent of white water appeared out of all the holes and started flooding Cave. The accident in Veryovkina is perhaps one of the worst disasters to have occurred during a cavers expedition, resulting in many deaths among scientists and speleologists.

A Corpse Hangs Deep In The Veryovkina Cave

It was only after a group of cavers discovered the remains on one of their trips that Sergei Kozeev’s disappearance was explained. A Russian climber, he ventured into Veryovkina and wound up trapped inside for about nine months, due to inadequate equipment. Veryovkina isn’t particularly a top tourist destination, which is why it took so long to find his body. Getting lost inside might mean no human contact for months, which was the unfortunate case here.

The 2021 expedition to retrieve his corpse required about 100 climbers’ help in bringing the body back from such a profound depth.

The group who discovered Kozeev’s body first saw his belongings, stumbling upon the corpse as they moved deeper into the Cave. Eventually, all of them could see it, hanging from a rope about 0.7 miles (1.1 km) deep.

One of the dangers of exploring Veryovkina Cave is going there alone: it’s against safety rules. Kozeev was a multi-sport enthusiast, but he only specialized in one activity. His biggest mistake was going into the cave by himself. Kozeev was only 31 years old; he died from hypothermia on August 17th, 2021.

An image of the massive flowwall formations inside Veryovkina Cave.


Veryovkina Cave is simply stunning. It’s a cave that, assuming you have the courage and prepared adequately, you must see for yourself.

Memorable crystalline stalactites and stalagmites, and brilliant blue-green walls continue to attract the most adventurous individuals each year.

The pale blue color comes from sky-blue calcite crystals in the limestone walls. It looks unreal, but we can all agree it’s the one the most incredible natural formation out there.

However, as you know now, it is no easy task to descend here, and you should go with a trained team if you ever decide to. This cave is not meant for even intermediate cavers, and is considered one of the most dangerous for good reason.

Interested in learning more about some of the deepest caves discovered? Check out this list of the Most Dangerous Caves on Earth.

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