Lakes and Rivers

Subterranean lakes and rivers are a real geological masterpiece, and are not limited to fiction. They are a characteristic feature of karst landforms.

The layers of carbonate bedrock get dissolved owing to the mildly acidic water, forming tiny crevices, which subsequently enlarge and give rise to underground waterways and lakes.
The underground lakes and rivers are generally associated with beautiful caves and caverns characterized by speleothems of different shapes and sizes. This Buzzle write-up gives is a brief account of some of the most amazing underground lakes and rivers around the world.
10 Incredible Underground Lakes and Rivers

Reed Flute Cave
Location: Guilin, Guangxi, China

Reed Flute Cave (China)

Renowned for its karst topography, the city of Guilin is a famous tourist destination, with the Reed Flute Cave being the most mesmerizing and oldest attraction. This cave system derives its name from a type of reed that grows at the entrance of the cave, and is used to make flutes.
Also known as the Palace of Natural Arts, this 180 million-year-old cave offers a spectacular sight of stalactites and stalagmites that continually evolve into a different shape due to the cave river. The highlight of the cave is an area called the Crystal Palace of the Dragon King, where brightly lit rock formations are reflected in the extremely still cave lake. The water and roof are illuminated using blue light to give a glacial effect, adding to the beauty of the cave.
The Reed Flute Cave is not just a tourist attraction, but has historical significance as well, since it provided refuge to thousands of soldiers during the Sino-Japanese War.

Luray Caverns
Location: Virginia, USA

Luray Caverns (USA)

Discovered in 1878, the Luray Caverns is the third-most visited cave system in the US, and is known for its unique limestone formations, like the frozen fountain, Titania’s Veil, the Empress Column, irregularly shaped rocks that look like fried eggs, a set of stalactites that can give rise to musical tones like those produced by pipe organs, and The Great Stalacpipe Organ.
This cave system houses a sparkling underwater lake called the Dream Lake, which reflects the shimmering white stalactites and unique rock formations. The water of the lake is so clear that, at times, the mirror image of the stalactites hanging above is said to be mistaken for a stalagmite of the floor.

Hamilton Pool Preserve
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Hamilton Pool (USA)

Owing to the massive erosion that took place thousands of years ago, the dome of an underground river in Austin collapsed, revealing the serene tranquility below. The natural pool, known as the Hamilton Pool, was designated as a preserve in 1990.
It is type of plunge pool formed by a 50-ft waterfall, and it is surrounded by limestone slabs and stalactites. Spread across 232 acres, the Hamilton Pool Preserve has been a favorite spot for a peaceful summer afternoon, owing to the calm waters and the lush green habitat comprising bald cypress, ferns, and wild flowers.