National Geographic

Photos by @shonephoto (Robbie Shone) | In August 2017, 49 years after being discovered, cave explorers reached a depth of -2,212m (7,257ft) in Veryovkina [cave] located in the Caucasus Mountains and set a new record for world’s deepest cave.

In September 2018, @shonephoto joined members of the Perovo Speleo Caving Team where he wanted to capture the work of the explorers as they pushed the boundaries of exploration deep beneath the earth.

It took four days of abseiling (repelling) and thrutching through tight meandering passages to reach the bottom. The team then spent a week camped at -2,100m from where they made ‘day’ trips to the bottom.

On day 11, things changed dramatically when a flood pulse hit the cave. The team waited at camp as the rumbling sound of a freight train getting louder and louder made its way through the inky blackness above. It hit the explorers and continued downwards. After a few hours everything started bubbling and gurgling. The water rose so fast, the team barely had time to get kitted up and out of the way. They left all the non-essential gear, including @shonephoto camera equipment. He took his precious memory cards that stored these photos showing the cave before the flood. The last person had to swim over the tent at camp to escape. The shafts and passages became a fierce torrent of water that was difficult to find air space to breath in. In total the water rose 130m above the base level. Read more from this harrowing story on @NatGeo . Photography for this expedition was supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society.

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@sadie_maezing

Oh my gosh, scetchy😮

@douggymman

@nicoleszym that's insane!

@harryslinker

@tatt_emo they explored more of the cave then we have of the moon too.

@anggitapricillia_

How scary but imagine how amazing it would be😍

@nabanb11

👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌

@hugoalberto_v

@keren_ven70 cuando te pongas en algo Keren Huezo🙄

@nayebp_

@keren_ven70 tenemos que..😨

@keren_ven70

Algún día en el futuro tal vez ... deberíamos ir.. @nayebp_ @hugoalberto_v

@mateuz_n.s

@caroline_paiana já pensou ? Kkkk

@schaferlois

Stunning !

@cyberbear2000

Great pics! Glad everyone is safe!

@bdutton

*rappelling

@elainesarges

@iago_lcarvalho que daora😱😱😱

@iago_lcarvalho

@elainesarges se liga na quarta foto com o efeito do obturador 😍

@kuychi2018

Espectaculares tomas

@chelsea_l_

😣 terrifying

@rhydenthewave

@markshifu true enough. It's like that beach in Thailand that they closed because to much people were coming and leaving garbage and wrecking the Eco system. I get it. It's so sad.

@alejandro.libra

Impresionante historia....

@aunu12

Glad everyone got out safely. What a terrifying experience that must have been for them all.

@eracalavera

@edu.supertramp igual alzao como esos q viejos q vimos en el cerro 😮

@bettyato

Wow, scary

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