It should not be possible for life to exist in Romania’s so-called ‘Poison Cave’. But deep beneath a featureless plain in Constanta, not far from the Black Sea and Bulgarian border, creatures that have never seen sunlight lurk in an environment that could not be more alien.
Discovered in 1986, Movile is believed to date back more than five million years. The eco-system within is unique. This is a place that verges on the impossible. The air is different down here — containing one-third to a half less oxygen than that which we breathe on the surface. The internal atmosphere is rich in hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.
Separated from the outside world, life here is based upon chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis. Life shouldn’t exist here, but no less than 48 different species live in mysterious Movile — including leeches, spiders and a weird and wonderful water scorpion. Hard to believe, perhaps, but this place actually exists.