Muscat – A group of 25 adventure enthusiasts has discovered a new cave in Dhofar governorate, adding to the list of Oman’s subterranean treasures. The cave was found by the Dhofar Adventure and Exploration Team.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Abdul Hakim Amer al Ma’ashani, head of the team, informed that the Mughaleel Cave in the wilayat of Rakhyut is about 120m deep and has three chambers connected via narrow corridors. The cave’s entry is small and its chambers can only be accessed by crawling on all fours.
“The team had to dig into the outer chamber to reach inside the cave. This is the first time Mughaleel Cave has been explored – the first time people went inside it,” Ma’ashani said.
Entering the cave needs the utmost caution. “It is risky and exhausting because of multiple vertical slopes and very slippery surface,” Ma’ashani added.
“The first chamber is the largest – approximately 10x7m. The cave contains multiple formations of stalactites, stalagmites and rock canopies.”
Some of the stalagmite deposits on the floor of the cave are up to 2m tall. “Some stalagmites have white and grey lime crystals that resemble granite rock. The floor of the cave has rocky basins, most of which have no water,” Ma’ashani said.
The last chamber of the cave has a number of beautiful rock formations. “The stalactites in this room have characteristic thorn-like growths, some of which resemble hooked poles and fishing rods,” Ma’ashani noted.
The cave is inhabited by various living organisms, including 5-7cm black spiders, many kinds of worms and bats. “The team also found fragments of cow bones, bat droppings and remains of white butterflies, which may have been fed on by the bats,” Ma’ashani said.
“This cave is among many found in Dhofar governorate and can be a tourist attraction in the future.”
Ma’ashani informed that the team’s goal is to explore caves in the sultanate and document these, besides spreading the culture of adventure among members of the community and promoting tourism.
Set up in August 2020, Dhofar Adventure and Exploration Team has found nine caves to date and emphasises on the safety of its members during exploration and adventure activities.