Orda Cave Awareness Project
July 12, 2011 5:34 AM   Subscribe

Russian divers working for the Orda Cave Awareness Project have revealed stunning images of the world's longest underwater cave.
posted by bwg (38 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Stunning and beautiful, but I can only view a couple of them before my claustrophobia takes over and I have to go look out the window at the sky.
posted by xingcat at 5:37 AM on July 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


very beautiful pictures.

Now I can facebook this. and tweet it. and tumblr it. and.... ugh the internet makes me tired.
posted by zombieApoc at 5:47 AM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is so gorgeous - thanks, bwg. I love that there are two women divers on the authors page. The "about project" link at their site is giving me nothing, though, so I tried to find a bit more info; apparently the gypsum is what helps keep the water so clear, but I have no idea why. The authors give a little more info about the book (which isn't on Amazon) here.
posted by mediareport at 5:57 AM on July 12, 2011


This is fantastic -- thanks for sharing.
posted by lobbyist at 6:00 AM on July 12, 2011


These are beautiful and terrifying.
posted by odinsdream at 6:02 AM on July 12, 2011


You killed it.
posted by crunchland at 6:04 AM on July 12, 2011


(Shoulda waited a few seconds. it's back. carry on.)
posted by crunchland at 6:07 AM on July 12, 2011


This link works for me: http://ordacave.ru/en/gallery/

Here's more info and pics.

Water temps are 3C. Brrr.
posted by I'm Doing the Dishes at 6:09 AM on July 12, 2011


From what I could see before the site overloaded, the cave is not really that beautiful. Try these cave diving photos. Or these.

Orda looks like a mineshaft. The blue light is all that makes the photos interesting.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:10 AM on July 12, 2011


I'm glad there's someone out there willing to photograph this stuff, because there is no amount of money you could pay me to dive in the longest underwater cave.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 6:10 AM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Video. And a reluctant link to the Daily Mail for these quotes:

'This cave is unique - it is real wonder of nature,' explained Mr Lyagushkin. 'But if you want to see Orda cave for yourself, you must be experienced cave diver. It means few years of hard training, a lot of heavy and expensive equipment. That is why we decided to show pictures to people across the world. Now you need not visit Russia and go underwater - you may see it sitting in your own chair.'

'For the millions of years this amazing place has existed water has formed it into a palace while no human was here. To visit this cave gives you a special feeling - I think the same feeling cosmonauts on the Moon have. You are hanging with no gravity in the strange unusual world. You fly like a bird over its landscapes.'

The environment of Orda is so delicate that even air bubbles from the divers can damage the ceiling of the cave. This meant Mr Lyagushkin's team had to construct an underwater funnel to take their air bubbles safely to the mouth of the cave.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2008640/Into-void-Amazing-images-crystal-clear-underwater-cave.html
posted by mediareport at 6:12 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it just the photography or my fevered imagination - does the cave roof in image #35 have large bubbles of what I assume must be expired air from the divers?

(On preview - what mediareport said?)
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 6:16 AM on July 12, 2011


the cave is not really that beautiful

I'm a big fan of stalact/gmites myself, but just because there are a lot of straight lines, flat surfaces and square angles doesn't mean a cave isn't beautiful. The shit is gorgeous, blue light or not.
posted by mediareport at 6:29 AM on July 12, 2011


I'm amused by the little sign in #22. Are there really enough people going in there to bother putting up an underwater signpost? Also, does anyone know what it says?
posted by echo target at 6:32 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, does anyone know what it says?

It appears to be this, which is (to my limited understanding) a fairly standard warning sign used in the cave diving community.
posted by tocts at 6:43 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


From what I could see before the site overloaded, the cave is not really that beautiful. Try these cave diving photos. Or these.

I liked Orda better back when it was playing underground shows at Fireside Bowl.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:44 AM on July 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I assume they looking for blocks of diamonds?
posted by R. Mutt at 6:46 AM on July 12, 2011


...the cave is not really that beautiful. Try these cave diving photos. Or these.

The caves in those photos are pretty stunning, but the photos themselves are not nearly as good. Check out, for example, how they use a light or optically triggered strobe to illuminate the area behind a diver. This is really well done, this is super cheesy, and not just because you can see him holding the strobe. To get really terrific photos takes both great technique and probably quite a bit of time to get each shot right. I personally prefer awesome photos of a cave that is arguably less interesting.
posted by snofoam at 6:53 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is beautiful - weird, but I actually looked at this while listening to the Soundgarden song, "Rusky Cave". Spooky!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:10 AM on July 12, 2011


These are gorgeous, thank you for posting. I imagine it is like Theseus and the labyrinth in there--no way I could even think of doing what these divers do.
posted by misha at 7:11 AM on July 12, 2011


All of the enormous boulders lying on the cave floor, and the divers floating above them, made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. And I was at least halfway through the gallery when I realized I was holding my breath.
posted by rtha at 7:12 AM on July 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, at least a few of those pictures I'm thinking, "So when's the next big chunk of ceiling going to fall?"
posted by RedEmma at 7:33 AM on July 12, 2011


Dude, the song is Rusty Cage? Rusky Cave...lol.

Anyways, send Ryan Mcginley ! http://trendland.net/2009/08/22/ryan-mcginleys-caves/
posted by lslelel at 7:51 AM on July 12, 2011


Thanks, I love this. I hope it remains unspoiled for a very long time.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:11 AM on July 12, 2011


Dude, the song is Rusty Cage?

Dude, "Rusty Cage" doesn't even make sense. Rusky Cave is one of my favourite songs, along with Handsome Ovum, Jesus I Suppose, and Pretty News. I'm glad you like the band dude but real fans actually listen to the lyrics!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:16 AM on July 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Orda looks like a mineshaft. The blue light is all that makes the photos interesting.

Mmmh, no. I think the regular shapes and the spaciousness make it very interesting.
posted by eeeeeez at 8:17 AM on July 12, 2011


From what I could see before the site overloaded, the cave is not really that beautiful. Try these cave diving photos. Or these.

Objectively speaking, it is YOUR favorite cave that sucks. I have the numbers to prove it.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:40 AM on July 12, 2011


I understand the need to show scale (it would be almost impossible to judge in a lot of these, otherwise) but do they have to put a diver in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE? How am I supposed to use these for D&D references? "Ok, you're heading into the sea dragon's lair, it looks like this... except ignore the guy in the wetsuit, he's not really there." C'mon peeps, just a couple, suitable-for-desktop-wallpaper, of just the cave and the rocks and not a big spidery wetsuity human being.
posted by The otter lady at 9:44 AM on July 12, 2011


I really wish that I could afford to get my cave diving cert. Stupid padi with their expensive courses.

</grumble>
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:54 AM on July 12, 2011


...and then the big, brown shark came....
posted by stormpooper at 3:09 PM on July 12, 2011


stormpooper: "...and then the big, brown shark came...."

Eponysterical.
posted by bwg at 4:48 PM on July 12, 2011


I really should do that cave diving FPP I've been thinking about for a while...

This cave is the longest gypsum cave, but nowhere near the longest underwater cave, Sistema Ox Bel Ha and Sistema Sac Actun in the Yucatan peninsula are both 22km long (Orda is 5 km).

These pictures are really good, and really make me want to go to Russia ; ) But I have to say that the pictures of Cuzan Nah posted above do not do any justice to the insane beauty of that place, the Yucatan peninsula has some truly amazing underwater caves, they look nice in pictures but it's not even close to being there.

These guys are also made of stern stuff, diving 3C water really gets to you after a while (even with a dry suit) and the probability you'll have a freeflow is much higher.

The sign on #22 is pretty standard, a lot of caves have springs/cenotes that can be dived/snorkelled and the sign is usually put at the end of the cavern zone to warn divers without the proper training/experience that it's about time they turn back.

And it is indeed air bubbles trapped on the ceiling on #35, you can generate nice lighting effects if you direct your light on the bubbles instead of directly lighting the cave ; )
posted by coust at 5:29 PM on July 12, 2011


The environment of Orda is so delicate that even air bubbles from the divers can damage the ceiling of the cave. This meant Mr Lyagushkin's team had to construct an underwater funnel to take their air bubbles safely to the mouth of the cave.

Shouldn't they have been using CC rebreathers? I thought that was pretty much standard practice for tech dives like this.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 9:10 AM on July 13, 2011


Shouldn't they have been using CC rebreathers? I thought that was pretty much standard practice for tech dives like this.

A lot of people won't touch em, they have their own set of issues.
posted by coust at 3:30 PM on July 13, 2011


A lot of people won't touch em, they have their own set of issues.

Enough to justify building a bubble-tunnel?
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:42 PM on July 13, 2011


or bubble-funnel or whatever thing they rigged up.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:42 PM on July 13, 2011


Well... yeah... dying... it's serious stuff ; ) They are wonderful devices, but they require a lot of care, preparation and are vastly more complex than open circuit gear and have their own new sets of failures. But if the cave is really that fragile that might add more incentive to use them there. A lot of the pictures linked show divers with rebreathers, so it's not all of them going OC in there.
posted by coust at 4:10 PM on July 13, 2011


Thanks for clearing that up for me coust. I'm not certified to use a rebreather and only know a tiny bit about them.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 4:21 PM on July 13, 2011


« Older Monster Shack...  |  VR Panorama of the Space Shutt... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments