The Most Extreme Summer Sports: Cave Diving

These sports aren't necessarily deadly, but they certainly instill an imminent sense of death—which is what makes them so thrilling and why we can't look away.

Aug 7, 2013
Outside Magazine

Cave diving    Photo: Oksana Golubeva/Shutterstock

Safe but Scary?

While 475 cave divers died between 1950 and 1998, only 47 divers with cave training perished during that period.

Within the blackness of a cave lies the essence of exploration. Geological seams and torso-width holes lead to vast underground rooms lined with rock formations that make them appear otherworldly. As these crevices extend deeper, inevitably, they lead to water. To continue, a caver must dive. But only the bravest amongst the caving community dare don the rebreathers that circulate gas-laden air back into the user’s lungs. Underwater and far underground, cave divers have unearthed such treasures as the fossils of long extinct animals, as well as the bodies of fellow cave diving discoverers, who never returned.

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