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YouTubers find something unexpected after climbing down a claustrophobic cave called 'hell hole'

The uncle-nephew duo has been exploring complex cave systems for a while now but their recent discovery made all their efforts worth it.
UPDATED JUN 20, 2024
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Caveman Hikes
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Caveman Hikes

Climbing down caves and squeezing oneself into dark, narrow spaces may sound claustrophobic, but for some individuals into recreational spelunking, this is a passion. They also document their exploits via videos posted on YouTube, which might even trigger anxiety among the faint-hearted while providing insights about the depths of caves.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Roberto Lee Cortes
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Roberto Lee Cortes

Caveman Hikes is one of those YouTube channels operated by a nephew and uncle duo named Jacob and Calvin Saunders who share a passion for spelunking. Two years back, the Saunders duo decided to explore a deep pit cave located in California's Wilder Ranch State Park, which is aptly dubbed a hell hole. According to Science Times, the main attraction of the cave is the Hall of Faces, an area where visitors can leave clay sculptures to indicate that they successfully reached there after climbing down 90 feet.

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A post shared by Calvin (@caveman_hikes)


But Jacob and Calvin discovered something unexpected in the cave and it made the whole spelunking experience worth the effort. Around 13 minutes into the video, we can see Jacob trying to squeeze himself through an extremely narrow tunnel. "People say they'll die of claustrophobia, I do too," he jokes. "Stay sideways dude, you're going to get yourself wedged in there. You're in a tight spot there. You can't get in a hurry at the tight spots, you just have to take it," Calvin warns him.


Then the two finally reach a spot where they discover a four-foot-high limestone pillar inside the cave. "Above me is the last limestone pillar in this cave. In the entire cave, people destroyed everything because it's so open," an amazed Jacob can be heard saying. "But through these tight squeezes and narrow passages, it's so far back here, so not known about that this is the only one that remains. She remains as a secret treasure for those willing to venture beyond the limits of hell," Calvin quips.

The Saunders have been sharing their spelunking and hiking trips for five years on the channel. "When I first went into caves, I was terrified. Caves will always surprise me. Is it going to be wet? Is it going to be dry? Is it going to be cold, dirty, muddy, or clean?" Jacob told The Guardian in a 2022 interview. "Is it going to be, like, pretty or is it going to be super ugly, you know, like a crawly cave that’s all spiky?" 17-year-old Jacob is always accompanied by his uncle who is a 48-year-old military veteran and experienced outdoorsman, as per the outlet.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | ArtHouse Studio
Representative Image Source: Pexels | ArtHouse Studio

In another video, “The tightest cave squeeze ever recorded”, his uncle helps him get through a 6x10-inch hole headfirst. He calmly and expertly wriggles through to a large cavern on the other side. With a flashlight, he joyfully runs up the sides of the cave walls, slapping the ceiling with the other hand. Then he slithers back up through the hole, with his hands and arms out front so his uncle can pull him out. Jacob and Calvin told the outlet that even if no one watched their YouTube videos, they’d still be exploring hundreds of local underground caves of southern Washington and Oregon.


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