Niah Caves – Miri, Malaysia - Atlas Obscura
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Miri, Malaysia

Niah Caves

One of the largest caverns in the world has a maw large enough to stack cathedrals in. 

One of Borneo’s many and varied natural wonders, the Niah Caves are a system of colossal underground chambers that are large enough to fit a couple of Notre Dame Cathedrals stacked on top of one another and also contain some of the earliest human remains ever found in Malaysia.

The initial excavations into the Niah caves began in 1950’s and 60’s when evidence of human habitation in the caves were found including cave paintings and remains. The remains were found to be a staggering 40,000 years old meaning the natural caves have been fascinating homo sapiens from cavemen to the camera happy tourists of today. The cave paintings were found to only be around 1,200 years, making them nonetheless interesting, but paling in comparison to the ancient bones. 

Today the caves are a popular tourist site owing to the awe inspiring size and natural beauty of the caves. The entrance to the main “Great Cave” alone is dozens of meters tall, inviting metaphorical measures such as how many churches, or other huge structures could fit in it. No matter how one describes the caves, it is likely that it will be tinged with a sense of awe.