The Gomantong Cave made me scream like a big girl's blouse. Set deep in the heart of the steamy jungles of Borneo, the dank cave system is home to millions of bats, cockroaches, rats and hideous crabs. Individually, each of these horrific creatures makes my skin crawl; collectively it's a real-life Fear Factor. The adventure was part of Terra Incognito's outstanding ecotour of Borneo that involved not only creepy caves, but also elephants, monkeys, crocodiles and orangutan sightings. (Read the full story at The Smoking Jacket.)
The cave is basically nature's real-life haunted house. (But without the local high school drama club trying to scare you while wearing Freddy Krueger masks.) Regardless, the Gomantong Cave was one of the most mind-blowing and intriguing grottos I've ever encountered.
"They sacrifice a goat at the entrance of the cave before harvest for good luck," our guide Minchu says, pointing to the cave's opening that looks like a sinister demon's mouth; a smooth, rocky surface is used as the alter for said goat sacrifice.
On a narrow wooden path, we hesitantly enter the creepy cave. Inside, I'm transported directly into the deep, dark recesses of all childhood nightmares. The large cave is littered with cockroaches and loudly chirping bats. Giant rats and crabs scurry about the floor. Surprisingly, the cave has the worst smell known to humanity and, given the terrifying surroundings, I'm on the verge of contributing one more horrible smell to the mix. Something dank, humid and steamy, much like the cave itself.
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