The Isverna Cave (Romanian: Peştera Isverna or Izverna; 600 m altitude) is located in Mehedinţi County, South-Western Romania. As famous as the flooded caves in Mexico, Florida or the Alps, Isverna is passed by the largest karstic spring in Romaniaa, and still retains the charm that made famous the natural wilderness of the Romanian Carpathians. That is why, from a desire to maintain it, the cave was declared a speleological reserve. Here is an ideal place for speo-scuba diving, visited every year by hundreds of divers all over the world.
The cave was first explored by the bio-speleologist C.N. Ionescu, on a length of 200 meters. In 1914 he published a description of this section, and in 1951 P.A. Chappuis and A. Winkler made a more detailed description. Between 1964-1967 V. Decou made a bio-speleological research, and in 1973, C. Goran made a cave plan published in 1976. The "Living Fire" speleological team led by S. Roată, re-mapped the cave November 1979, discovering new galleries, so that the current length was 1,500 m. The same year began the diving exploration, with promising results, and continued in 1980 when Florin Paroiu and Costel Vanau hunted, cave diving pioneers from Romania, were first that passed the Green Siphon (50 meters long), then the shorter Yellow Siphon.
It followed the exploration of a gallery with water 1.5 m deep and strong currents, ended by the Black Siphon - the longest in Romania (over 400 m and a negative bump of 40 m). In the early '90, Jacques Yves Cousteau came here with a team of cavers and divers. In January 2005, Gabor Mogyorosy and Mihai Baciu passed the Black Siphon and found hundreds of meters of galleries, of which 300 m of active galleries. So far have been explored since the beginning of Black Siphon over 1800 m of galleries. Exploration continues today due to high potential of the cave and to the discovery of new siphons at the end of the flooded gallery.
It is said that in the cave is hidden a silver treasure of the Empress Maria Theresa. In March 2010, speleologists made an amazing discovery in the cave: in an completely isolated room, they found a unique species of little birds, resembling to the bats. Those birds hadn't ever a contact with the exterior (the access gallery is flooded), but they reacted to the light and hid in the cavities of the wall. In this room the researchers found also some circular objects with a diameter of around 1 m, with strange signs, much heavier than the lead. The area of the objects is much colder.
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