Velebita - world deepest underground
Speleological expediton Velebita 2004.
Cave explorers from Velebit Speleological Society and other clubs from Croatia discovered a pit inside a mountain range in central Croatia believed to have the world's deepest subterranean vertical drop, at nearly 513 m. The cave named Velebita, in Croatia's mountainous Velebit region, has a steady, weaving descent of 67 m before it takes a direct vertical plunge of 513 m through the ground. The cave's widest stretch is about 30 m. There are deeper caves in Croatia (Lukina jama -1392 m, Slovacka jama -1320 m), but according to available data, this cave has the world's deepest vertical drop. At the foot of the Velebita cave are small ponds and streams, including one of the largest known colonies of subterranean leeches. It is located in the Rozanski kukovi area of the National park North Velebit in the rocky Velebit mountain range in central Croatia.
The Velebit region is Croatia's largest mountain range, attracting speleologists, botanists and hikers from around the world. Much of the rugged area remains untouched, and scientific expeditions over its vast expanse covered by rare flora and fauna have been ongoing for years. Velebit is very rich with speleologic objects - pits, caves, abysses and oforms. The most significant faunistic discovery in caves represents the endemic stygobiontic leach - Croathobranchus mestrovi.
This expedition is supported by National park North Velebit - project of speleological and biospeleological explorations of the park, The Speleological Committee of the Croatian Mountaineering Association, and private donators.
Members of the Expedition Velebita 2004
Text by Darko Bakšić, Ana Bakšić and Dalibor Paar