Cinderella Cave / them. Emilia Rakovice is a cave located in gypsum deposits in the territory of Moldova and Ukraine. The total length of the passages is about 88.5 km in plan. It claims to be 3rd in the world among gypsum caves  and 25th among the longest caves in the world  .
|Cinderella \ Emil Rakovica|
|Depth||30  m|
|Type of||horizontal |
|Number of inputs||one|
The cave is located in the East European region, in a place where the borders of three states are in contact: Ukraine , Moldova and Romania . One of the borders - the Moldovan-Ukrainian - passes directly above the cave.
The cave labyrinth is stretched from the entrance in the northwest (towards Ukraine) and northeast (towards Moldova) directions. The border between Ukraine and Moldova, passing over the labyrinth, divides it into 2 parts: northwestern (Ukrainian) and southeastern (Moldavian).
The only entrance to the cave is located on the territory of the Republic of Moldova , near the village of Kriva, Briceni district.
In the publications there are 3 dates of the discovery of the cave: 1959, 1969, 1977. This is due to the following:
- In 1946, in the area of the village of Kriva, as a result of exploration, a gypsum deposit was discovered that lies close to the surface. In 1954, the industrial production of gypsum began in an open way. In 1959, after the explosion, a cavity opened in the pit wall, from which water gushed out. But then the system itself was not revealed, but only one of the upper galleries. Since the presence of groundwater was predicted, the organization of the pump station was laid down in the project for the organization of work. The average volume of pumped water is 8,000 cubic meters. per day. Based on this fact, the literature sometimes indicates 1959 as the year the cave was discovered.
- The second date is August 1969, when several scientists from the geography department of the Academy of Sciences of the MSSR (Beshlyage, Verina, Ignatiev, Kravchuk, Sukhov) made the first attempt to penetrate the cave. Unfortunately, the researchers were not able to walk more than 60 meters, due to the very moist and sticky clay, numerous waterlogged areas  .
- In 1977, after an explosion in the north side of the quarry, a valid entrance to the cave opened. From the official diary of the Chernivtsi caving club Troglodyt:
“March 12 - 13, 1977, c. Cinderella. The composition of the group: Korzhik V., Kabashnyuk V., Degtyarenko N., Lemeshev A., Filipets A., Gaysenyuk V., Lutsiv O., Voityshen S., Yastremsky V., Filipets G. Opening, first time in the cave. Put 56 pickets. The length on the plan is 350 meters in a straight line, the stroke is 4-6 meters. ”
This date is the opening date of the cave - the night of March 12–13, 1977  . Immediately began work on the survey of galleries, which lasted until 1993, when the last district of "Bukovina" was transferred to the map. All the work on organizing, coordinating and bringing the cards together was done by the Troglodyt club, the main role was played by Vitaly Pavlovich Korzhik.
Also, scientists from the geography department of the Ministry of Science of the MSSR carried out work in the cave. Nine students of the Tiraspol Pedagogical Institute (Botnar, Naumenko, Shumulkov, Spinu, Boloborodov, Duloglu, Tsarigradsky, Obruchkova) managed to plot the initial 10 km of the labyrinth for 1 month, discovered underground lakes with clear water, measured their volume, temperature, and took water samples . However, the location of these materials is not yet known  .
The main speleonyms - the names of halls, lakes, galleries are numerous and given by cavers who mapped the labyrinth of the cave  .
Since 1984, the Chisinau Speleclub ABIS joined the cave research  .
In 1989, an acute problem arose with clay dump. After a turn in 1985, the front of the Krivsky gypsum quarry 90 degrees, the entrance to the cave that existed in the wall of the upper mining ledge fell into the area of overburden dumps and was built up with square reinforced concrete rings. Ultimately, the entrance is a 32-meter well of 6 sections of 5.2 meters each, with intersectional "floor" ceilings and staircases connecting them through the hatches. The lower foundation ring is partly planted on a rocky gypsum base, and mostly on bulk soil. Over time, the water-saturated soil sagged and the lower rings of the inlet well deformed. In early September 1999, a plastic clay mass was squeezed out through the ruined wall of the lower passage into the well and blocked the entrance with a 3-meter layer. From above, due to constant drainage, the water level rose by 2 meters, and carbon dioxide accumulation began in the well, which took a dangerous value.
After the tragedy of October 3, 1999, when two people from the village of Tarasovtsy died from carbon dioxide poisoning while trying to get into the cave, the management of Kriva-Knauf JSC, at that time operating the quarry, was ordered to close the entrance to the cave and, as a result, it concreted. In 2002, a land plot with an area of 8.8 hectares was reclaimed and, together with the mine, transferred under the act of the mayor's office of the village of Kriva .
Second Cave Opening
At the beginning of 2005, the newspaper “Moldova Suverana” published information about the death of the cave, quote: “15 grottoes that are around the perimeter of the quarry are almost completely destroyed, the entire cave is flooded, the galleries are filled with water for about 70 km” (“Moldova Suverana” newspaper No. 130 dated August 17, 2005). The concern developing it is ruining the national wealth of the Republic of Moldova, and in this regard, the President of the Republic of Moldova arrived in the quarry. The concern’s license for the right to develop subsoil was suspended. In order to prove that the quarry was not involved in the ecological state of the cave, the Knauf concern, on its own initiative, carried out work to clean the entrance well from clay cork and renovated the stairs, and on July 31, 2005, the ABIS speleoclub was invited . There were no traces of collapse and flooding of the galleries and halls of the cave  .
According to the tradition accepted in international practice, the name "Cinderella" became the official name of the cave, as it was given by the discoverers. In publications of the Academy of Sciences of the MSSR  , in lists of world caves, scientific works in different languages, the cave has the name "Cinderella", or "Zolushka" in Latin transcription. In Ukraine, the Ukrainian version of this name is sometimes used - "Popelyushka", and in Moldavian publications the Moldavian version - "Cenusareasa" was also found.
In 1991, Government Decision of the Republic of Moldova No. 664 dated November 28, 1991 “On taking under state protection a karst cave located in the vicinity of the village of Kriva Briceni district”, an attempt was made to rename the cave “Emil Racovita”, in honor of the Romanian biospelologist Emil Racovita   . This led to confusion - on several occasions in the Moldovan media there were materials about two large caves in the Republic of Moldova - Cinderella and Emil Racovita.
Cinderella Cave, along with most of the large labyrinth caves of the Podolsk-Bukovinian region, such as Optimistic , Ozernaya, Kristalnaya, and others, was formed under conditions of an artesian regime by pressure waters. The formation of the labyrinths occurred mainly through the development of channels by rising groundwater, the nature and mechanism of which, and, as a result, the morphology of the labyrinth, were determined by structural prerequisites - features of the fractured space of gypsum .
Cinderella Cave / them. Emilia Rakovica is a young cave that formed only at the end of the Neopleistocene . According to morphological and morphometric characteristics in the cave, 15 regions are distinguished. The cave as a whole has large cavity sizes. The cave contains more than 60 lakes and flooded areas. The largest of the lakes are Crocodile (25 m long) and Nautilus (18 m long, 0.5 - 2 m deep). The bottom of such lakes is covered with clay. In the western part of the labyrinth, weakly flowing waters are noted. Large funnel-shaped and cylindrical wells with walls polished with water are interesting. Their depth reaches 16–20 m  .
Cave deposits, in addition to bottom clays, are represented by clay- calcite stalactites covering arches and walls of some corridors, tuff deposits and sconces on walls and ceilings, wings 2–20 cm thick, intersecting corridors at different angles and in places.
Most of the vault and walls look like mosaics due to the crystalline formations of gypsum.
Around cracks of limestone rock, anodites are found - gypsum formations deposited due to water infiltration through the pores of the walls. On the arches of the upper tier halls, in the zone of contact between limestone and gypsum, celestine crystals (strontium sulfate) were deposited, which in some places form real crystal microaggregates up to 1 cm thick. Strontium sulfate covers limestone tiles with a thin crust (up to 0.6 cm), giving them the appearance of crystallized brushes of bluish, white or light gray color. Gypsum needles about 6 cm long, “growing” on clay in one of the cave halls, became a real find. 
The Cinderella Tragedy
The visit to the cave ended tragically on October 3, 1999 by the residents of the village of Tarasovtsy, Novoselitsky district, Chernivtsi region. Two of them - Nikolai Roshchuk and Aleksey Pasat - died in the first flights of the entrance well into the cave, from Moldova. The reason is the poisoning of the body in conditions of high concentration of carbon dioxide, despite the published early warning about the danger of descent into the cave  .
Hello everyone, the Chernivtsi speleoclub warns that in the Cinderella cave, the concentration of CO 2 has reached deadly (without exaggeration) values ...- A deadly crap in Cinderella . CML No. 1325 (25 Sep 1999).
Cinderella cave system is of great interest to karstologists and speleologists in terms of its connection with tectonics, the evolution of hydrogeological conditions, speleolithogenesis, its development under conditions of artificial drainage, and the possibility of using it for tourist purposes. All this makes it relevant to pose the question of organizing a speleological hospital based on it. .
Hall in the central part of the cave
Clay stalactites in Cinderella Cave
Colorado Cave Cinderella
Underground hall with characteristic formations
- Shakir Yu. A. List of classified caves . - Moscow: Central Council for Tourism and Excursions, 1989.
- Bob Gulden. WORLD LONGEST GYPSUM CAVES. .
- Bob Gulden. WORLDS LONGEST CAVES Compiled by: Bob Gulden - May 18, 2016. .
- V.N. Verina. Secrets of the underworld. - 1979.
- Cinderella Cave. History of discovery . http://zolushka.speleo.md .
- Andreichuk V.N. Cinderella Cave. - Sosnowiec - Simferopol: Edition of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the Silesian University and the Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology, 2007. - ISBN 978-83-87431-82-2 . - ISSN 1895-6777 .
- Chisinau Speleoclub "ABIS". .
- Second opening of the cave . www.speleo.md .
- Verina V.N., Proka V.E., Spinu N.I., Naumenko S.N. Karst cave "Cinderella". - Izv. Acad. Sciences Mold.SSR, ser. geoph. and geol., No. 2. - 1978.
- Decree of the Government of the Republic of Moldova on the state protection of a karst cave located in the vicinity of the village of Kriva, Briceni district, No. 664 dated November 28, 1991 .
- Quote from the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Moldova No. 664: “9. Accept the proposal of the Briceni district executive committee and the mayor's office of the village of Kriva to assign a karst cave located in the vicinity of the village of Kriva to the name of the founder of biospelology, an eminent world-famous scientist Emil Rakovice. ”
- Korzhik V.P. New large gypsum cave Cinderella. - Dokl. USSR Academy of Sciences. Ser. B .. - 1979.
- Vitaliy Korzhyk. Information about tragedy in Zolushka cave unopened (link not available) . Cavers Mailing List No. 1345 . cml.happy.kiev.ua (October 7, 1996). Date of treatment December 14, 2016. Archived December 20, 2016.