Deep in south-east Romania, in the Constanta county a little bit away from the Bulgarian border and close to the Black Sea, you will not find much at all. Here lie the barren and desolate plains of Romania. It is completely unremarkable, and nobody lives there, except for one thing: it is home to a magical cave.
Below the plains lies a cave that has been isolated from the rest of the world for over 5.5 million years. While our ancestors in the Ape family were climbing down from the trees and learning how to live on their two feet, these creatures and beasts in this particular cave have been cut off from the rest of the planet. Scientifically this could mean they have not evolved or changed for over 5 million years. It is a researcher’s paradise, albeit a dangerous one to access.
The cave is crawling with life, despite it being dark and absent of light, and an overall poisonous atmosphere. Down in its depths, you can find spiders, scorpions, woodlice, and centipedes. Many have never even been seen by humans before, and the bizarre part is they all live off this floating mat of bacteria.
In 1986, Romanian workers were testing the ground and area to figure out if it was a good location for a power plant. This is when they stumbled across the Movile Cave by accident, Cristian Lascu, a Romanian scientist was the first to make the terrifying descent. And since that day the cave has been sealed by the Romanian authorities, only 100 people have ever been authorized to go inside the cave.
The way down is a battle that not everyone can take, first you rope down 20m in a narrow shaft that was dug from the ground. The only light is, of course, your own from your lamp helmet, climbing down narrow limestone tunnels and pitch darkness, you will eventually find a central cavern that contains a lake. Also the temperature is actually quite hot down in this cave going up to 25 celsius. The lake stinks of rotting eggs or burnt rubber due to acid sulfurs it lets off, and you need a breathing apparatus due to the oxygen being lower than usual!
After 5 to 6 hours you would simply die down there due to kidney failure, so anyone venturing into the cave has to move fast when doing their research. Amazing that despite all this life finds a way to survive.