For tens of thousands of years, caves have captured and fostered the human imagination. They're the closest thing to an alien world most of us will ever experience, and much like the bottom of the ocean, they continue to demonstrate how little we know about our own planet. Here's a look at some of the world's most stunning, inspiring, and spectacular caves.
Fingal's Cave (Scotland)
Fingal's Cave, named for a mythic Scottish warrior, cuts through the tiny, uninhabited island of Staffa. The arched ceiling makes for some interesting acoustics, and the sound of rough waves battering the walls inspired German composer Felix Mendelssohn to pen an overture. The cave's most striking feature is its Mordor-esque entrance, composed of hexagonal columns of basalt created by a process called columnar jointing, which takes place when lava cools and cracks. In spring and summer, the area around the cave is popular with both puffins and tourists.
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