3N Cave

Jeskyne Tri Nahacu - Cave of Three Naked Men - Namakdan Cave

Useful Information

Location: Southeastern side of Namakhdan Salt Diapir, Qeshm island.
(26.612131, 55.513142)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologySalt Cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=6,580 m, A=580 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Jiří Bruthans, Michal Filippi, Mohammad Zare, Naser Asadi, Zdeněk Vilhelm (2006): 3N Cave (6580 m): Longest salt cave in the world The NSS news. National Speleological Society. 64, 9: 10-18.
Michal Filippi, Jiří Bruthans, Zdeněk Vilhelm, Mohammad Zare, Naser Asadi (2006): 3N Cave, new world's longest cave in salt Abstracts book of 2nd Middle-Eeast Speleology Symposium (MESS2), American University of Beirut. Lebanon. April 21.-23. 2006. 15.
Pavel Bosák, Jiří Bruthans, Michal Filippi, Tomáš Svoboda, Jakub Šmíd (1999): Karst and Caves in Salt Diapirs, SE Zagros Mts. (Iran), Acta Carsologica, Vol. 28 No. 2 (1999).
Michal Filippi, Jiří Bruthans, Lukáš Palatinus, Mohammad Zare, Naser Asadi (2011): Secondary halite deposits in the Iranian salt karst: general description and origin. International Journal of Speleology , 40 (2). 141-162 doi : DOI academia.edu pdf researchgate.net
Address: 3N Cave.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1997 Czech project Namak starts exploration.
2006 new longest salt cave of the world published.


This cave of multiple names is located on the southeastern side of Namakhdan Salt Diapir on Qeshm island. The locals ignored the holes in the salt, and it seems nobody actually had the idea to enter them before. The first who had this idea was Czech Professor Pavel Bosak, the famous speleologist. He worked here in 1990, and he found many large salt caves and other karsts features and almost no literature. In other words, it was a chance to boldly go where nobody has gone before. He convinced his students Michal Filippi and Jiri Bruthans to do some work of their doctoral thesis here. They came for the first time in summer 1997 and then in six more expeditions and two shorter trips.

3N Cave became known worldwide, after the cavers of the Czech project Namak (which means salt in Farsi) explored and surveyed for 10 years and then published their results in 2006. They mentioned in their publication that 3N was now the world's longest salt cave. Until then, the longest salt cave was a cave in Israel near the Dead Sea, for decades. The Israeli cavers, like most of the caving community, were unaware that there could be other large salt caves in the world. They intensified surveying with the help of international cavers and only a decade later, in 2019, Malham Cave at Sedom at the Dead Sea is again the longest. However, the pissing war, which is at least hinted in the articles does not exist. Cavers know that cave surveying never ends and that caves are never fully explored, only journalists have a problem with this simple concept. And 3N is still the second longest and two more salt caves of Iran are now found in the top ten list of Bob Gulden.

The publications of project Namak were quite important in many aspects, and it was important for cave tourism. The work was cited by popular science magazines, with fine photographs of salt minerals in colour. Even the regular press started to publish about the "longest salt cave" of the world, which is a great marketing factor, no matter how long it stays on place one. Nobody was interested in the numerous scientific results in the report, only the superlative was important. And the great photographs of course. The Iranian salt karst with its caves became known to tourists, and they asked the local guides to show them the caves. Today there are numerous salt caves on Qeshm and Hormuz island which are regularly shown to tourists on guided cave trekking tours.

The actual name of the cave is, despite the fact that it is located on Qeshm island, which belongs to Iran, in Czech. The cave was named Jeskyne Tri Nahacu (Cave of Three Naked Men) by the discoverers. The reason is simple, it is extremely warm inside, and cave exploration is hard work. And the cave is dry and "clean", there is no mud to get dirty. Add 2+2 yourself.

For some years the cave is guided under the name Namakdan Cave on easy cave trekking tours. The cave a single huge passage and the visit is rather harmless, nevertheless good walking shoes and a lamp are required. The cave has pink rock salt crystals crackling underfoot, no need to go to the Himalaya for pink salt. Quite impressive are the multicoloured layers of salt with different pigments on the walls. Also groups of salt stalactites and stalagmites can be seen.

Visitors are equipped with helmet and headlamp. Good walking shoes are advisable. Visitors also get samples of rock salt to keep as souvenir.