The World's Largest Cave Formations
There are already official lists of the world's longest and deepest caves, deepest shafts and largest underground chambers. To my knowledge no one else maintains a list of the world's largest cave formations, so I am attempting to do that here on this page of The Virtual Cave. These records are based on reading of speleological literature and correspondence with cavers around the world, and are accurate to the best of my knowledge. But all records are made to be broken, so if you have information on large speleothems that deserve to be here, please contact me.

 
Longest column 61.5 meters Tham Sao Hin, Thailand
Tallest stalagmite 67.2 meters Cueva San Martin Infierno, Cuba
Longest free-hanging stalactite ~30 meters Gruta do Janelao, Brazil
Longest soda straw 9.03 meters Unnamed cave, Mexico
Tallest gour (rimstone dam) 22 meters Actun Kotob, Belize
Longest single gour in a cave 61 meters Tham Khoun Xe , Laos
Longest single gour, formed on the surface (1) 610 meters long
20 meters high
Wadi Sannur Cavern, Egypt
Longest connected gour series 400 meters Tinas Tepe Magara, Turkey
Flowstone cascade with greatest vertical extent 150 meters Neverland to Dead Sea
Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico
Longest continuous formation, white calcite crust in a stream channel 10 miles surveyed, continues on...

Snowy River Passage,
Fort Stanton Cave, New Mexico
(as of July 2012)

(1) Wadi Sannur is a rare type of cave formed by roofing over of a giant surface gour at its spillover point.
The gour was formed by a large thermal spring.

 

Possibly the largest single gour pool to have formed in a cave is this 61-meter long basin in Tham Khoun Xe in Laos

 

 

The world's tallest stalagmite, 67.2 meters high. Note the caver in red on the left side of the formation.

 

The world's largest column, 61.5m high, in Tham Sao Hin, Thailand. For scale, note a caver at the base of the column in blue jacket, another sitting in the foreground, and another high on the slope to the right of the column.


A chamber with the world's longest soda straws. The tops of the straws extend above the visible roof line. Two of those in the foreground measure over 8 meters long. One of those partially hidden behind the stalagmite measures over 9 meters.

This may be the world's tallest rimstone dam or gour. A caver is standing in a notch in the dam, in the red circle. The dam is roughly 22 meters high.

The world's longest continuous cave formation is in the Snowy River of Fort Stanton Cave, New Mexico, and is a coating of white calcite crystals that lines that bed of the streamway. The stream is active in parts of the year and dries up seasonally, adding to the deposit. Currently Snowy River has been surveyed and explored to over 10 miles in length with no end in sight.

Back to:
The Virtual Cave

Created: April 18, 2002
Updated: October 24, 2012
Author: Dave Bunnell