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Ruby Falls: The tallest deepest natural wonder in the United States

Ruby Falls
The tallest deepest natural wonder in the United States

The Ruby Falls are underground.

© Bok David / Shutterstock.com

A natural spectacle in the USA leads deep into the belly of the mountains of Tennessee. There the underground Ruby Falls plunge into the depths.

The USA is right at the top when it comes to natural wonders: Antelope Canyon in Arizona, the glacier caves of Alaska or Glass Beach in California attract vacationers to overseas year after year. They are also a real highlight the Ruby Falls in the state of Tennessee. In the depths of Lookout Mountain, the waterfall is considered to be the highest and deepest of its kind.

An underground path that leads through narrow crevices as well as stalagmites and stalactites takes visitors into a large cave, 350 meters underground. The guided tours pass rock formations with illustrious names such as “Elefantenfuß” and “Totem Pole”. The Ruby Falls themselves are no less spectacular, plunge 44 meters down and set a record: The waterfall is the highest and at the same time the deepest in the United States.

Ruby Falls discovered by accident

Like so many other things, they were discovered by chance. The widely ramified cave system of Lookout Mountain is said to have served outlaws and soldiers as a refuge and hiding place during the civil war. In 1905, in the course of the railway construction, a tunnel was driven through and the caverns were closed to the public until 1928. At that time, the cave explorer Leo Lambert set himself the task of making the beauty of the place accessible to people again.

With the help of investors, they drove an elevator shaft into the depths and discovered the cave with the Ruby Falls, which were named in honor of Lambert’s wife Ruby. Today the – of course modern – elevator with a glass front brings those interested about 26 floors deep into the belly of Lookout Mountain. In order to present the waterfall even more beautifully, it is illuminated by colored light.

If you feel the urge for fresh air after all the stone and the narrowness, you can look forward to it: There is a viewing platform above Lookout Mountain, which offers a wonderful view over the Cumberland Plateau and the gorge of the Tennessee River.

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