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Africa: Namibia and the largest underground lake in the world

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Namibia

46km north of Grootfontein, there is a cavern, known as the Dragon’s Breath Cave. Deep down this cave, it is the World’s largest underground non-subglacial lake, which was discovered in 1986 by the South African Speleological Association and named for the humid air that is felt emanating from its entrance.

At least 16 invertebrate species, including the endemic amphipod Trogloleleupia dracospiritus and one bat, Hipposideros caffer, inhabit the cave.

This cave supports a detritus-based system, with all input to the food web coming from allochthonous sources, largely from dried bat guano (Irish 1992).

Located in a private land, access to the interior is difficult – involving climbing, ropes, narrow tunnels and ledges followed by a drop from the roof of a vast cavern in order to finally reach the water a full hundred metres below.

Surface area: almost 2 hectares. Depth: beyond 100 m, its bottom has not been surveyed.

Source: terranovatours.wordpress.com

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