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Located on the outskirts of Mangalia, Romania, Movile Cave is world-renowned for its unique chemo-synthesis-based ecosystem. 35 of the species that live here can be found nowhere else on earth.


Located on the Black Sea coast, North of Mangalia, this swamp is a peat bog rich in freshwater vegetation. It is fed with sulfide-rich water from a creek on its western shore and hydro-thermal vents on the lake's bottom.



Located to the West of Limanu village, this cave is an extensive 3.6 km long labyrinth know to the local population for more than 2000 years. Historians believe that in the past it served as a hide-out from invading armies.


Help us protect the environment by funding our research. We appreciate your support!

Since 1981



GESS LAB is a scientific research facility run by the Group for Underwater and Speleological Exploration (GESS), a Romanian non-profit organization founded in 1981. Our main focus is the exploration, study and conservation of dry and submerged cave systems and the unique life forms they support. We act as custodians of a number of local protected natural areas. Our activities also include environmental education and exploratory open water and cave diving.

Over the years, GESS members have participated in many domestic and international dry caving and cave-diving expeditions, have discovered whole ecosystems and species that are new to science and have written numerous articles and papers that were published in prestigious scientific journals, magazines and books. Their efforts and experience are an invaluable contribution to unraveling the mysteries and revealing the wonders

of the hidden world beneath our feet.


Strada Victor Babes

(behind Mangalia Maternity Hospital)

Mangalia 905500

Jud. Constanta, Romania

+40 722 874 354 (Research related)

+40 722 879 870 (Facility related)

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