New Delhi: Namibia, a country in Southern Africa bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, is one of the driest nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Inhabited by people since pre-historic times, the country is a broad expanse of dunes and hyper-arid gravel plains that stretch along Namibia’s entire coastline. Despite its deserts and harsh arid landscapes, Namibia is a treasure trove of some of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in the world. One of them is the Dragon’s Breath Cave, a place that holds some of the most interesting mysteries of this place. In this article, we will learn more about this unique place.
The cave and its underground lake
In the 15th century, when the Portuguese sailors and explorers went to the place, they described Nambia as the ‘The Gates of Hell’ and to the local people, the country is also known as ‘The Land God Made in Anger’. Despite its dynamic wildlife and climate ecosystem, the wonder known as Dragon’s Breath Cave stands out.
In 1986, the South African Speleological Association discovered the cave. When the lake was discovered, the humid air that rose from the cave’s opening reminded the explorers of the mythical dragon’s warm breath, and hence, the cave was named Dragon’s Breath Cave. There is a cavern along the Kalahari Desert that slants slightly down for almost 5 metres ending at a small choke. Then there is a 7-metre-vertical drop, which ends at a ledge and then another 12-metre drop and a descent of 36.5 metres. After that, you will come face-to-face with a massive lake.
The lake of Dragon’s Breath Cave
The Dragon’s Breath Cave has the world’s largest non-subglacial underground lake. The lake is so deep that divers have not reached its floor yet. Located 100 metres below the surface, the lake is said to be so huge that it can fit two jet planes from head to tail.
Reportedly, since the lake receives no sunlight and its water does not create waves, the most isolated fish species in the world known as the Golden Cave Catfish can be found only in this place. The lake’s surface area covers 2 hectares, with clear and cool water which has remained undisturbed for thousands of years. Since it is extremely difficult for researchers to access the cave, the outside world is yet to know about its secrets. For normal people, the cave is simply off-limits.