Mystical caverns filled with living monsters sound a little terrifying, but luckily these monsters are just towering structures created by water. Kartchner Caverns in Arizona are living caves filled with giant stalagmites and stalactites. You can explore these ancient tunnels for a truly unique experience.
Water continually drips from the rocky ceilings of these mystical caves, causing the towering formations inside to grow and twist into wild shapes.
Kartchner Caverns State Park sits in Benson, Arizona, and is a world wonder sure to entice your imagination.
Inside grows a giant monster not made of scales or smoke, but minerals from water deposits. The giant stalactite Kubla Khan sits at 58-feet tall and looks like something from the Jurassic Era, if not, another planet.
The Bell Canopy looks like a curtain of rock, and it is easy to imagine it was created by magic rather than nature.
You can explore the caverns and even say you watched as they grew right in front of you, though the actual growth of the structures inside is microscopic.
Discovered in 1974, these underground caverns have been slowly growing over tens of thousands of years, and the life inside is delicate.
Because of this, cameras are only permitted on certain occasions inside the caves; otherwise, tours are held without photography.
It's not hard to imagine a world filled with wizards and dragons guarding piles of gold and gemstones living in the tunnels.
They look like something straight out of The Hobbit.
Tours cost between $23 and $30 and let you explore different caverns and rooms depending on your preference.
The caves are open May 19 to December 6 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m and December 7 to May 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
You can visit these otherworldly caves for a magical adventure outside the confines of a fantasy novel or movie script.
Price: $23 - $30
When: May 19 to December 6 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m, and December 7 to May 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Address: 2980 Park Svc Rd., Benson, AZ
Why You Need To Go: These ancient caverns are still living and growing, and boast some impressive formations.
We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.