Secret lava caves beneath America reveal a hole new world
A deep passage of caves hidden hundreds of feet beneath the US reveal a HOLE new world.
The spectacular network of lava tubes display a kaleidoscope of colour stretching 2.4 MILES under Washington state.
They were formed thousands of years ago as lava tube-forming flows stacked on top of each other inside a deep canyon.
The youngest tube – the top level of the cave – is 8000 years old and is the opening to the 325ft system.
Photographer Josh Hydeman, 33, explored with breath-taking formation with fellow adventurers Eric Guth, Garry Petrie and Jason George.
The group tackled the dangerous route utilising their repertoire of skills – but admitted for an inexperienced explorer the route would be deadly.
Josh, from Portland, Oregon, shot these incredible images on September 15.
He said: “The cave was first mapped in 1993 – we found out about it through a ‘grotto’ which is the name of a caving club.
“On the west coast all cave locations are kept secret so access is gained by word of mouth.
“For this cave you can actually drive almost to the very entrance – plenty of other caves require long hikes but not this one.
“It’s a very unique lava cave as most are one level or one tube but this is five.
“And it’s colourful with bright enough lights. At points in the cave there are water drips, season streams, seasonal waterfalls and things like that. The temperature is in the 50s(f).
“The cave has its dangers. There are places you need to climb on rock which is unstable and there are many pits you need to navigate using technical rope work where an inexperienced explorer could most certainly kill themselves.”
There are different rumours for how the cave was first discovered but Josh revealed one where it is believed children found it.
He added: “It’s said loggers knew of it and their kids decided to explore it.
“They had gone in past the first 10ft vertical pitch and to the first lava falls which is a 40ft drop.
“The children went down on a rope which was apparently short of the floor but went down anyway, each dropping off the end.
“When they went to exit, the rope was beyond their reach, so they built a pile of loose rocks high enough that it could be reached.
“Luckily one of them was strong enough to climb up and get help so the parents came back and hauled the rest up.
“The upshot of this near disaster was the parents decided the cave was dangerous – and being loggers had access to dynamite.
“They placed explosives and brought the entrance down and it was how the original cavers found it – a sink with a headwall on the south end and a pile of lava boulders at the bottom.”