Majlis al Jinn, which translates to “Meeting Place of the Spirits”, is one of the world’s ten largest cave chambers. It is situated in Oman, southeast of Muscat, and is notable for its isolated and relatively inaccessible location. The only entrances to Majlis al Jinn are small openings formed by rainwater erosion atop the remote Selma Plateau, which forms the peak of the cave’s magnificent freestanding domed roof. The sheer size of the chamber, when contrasted with its unassuming exterior, renders it a unique natural wonder.
There are three different entrances to the Majlis al Jinn cave, all of which link a single enormous chamber. The entrances are named Khoshilat Magandeli (First Drop), Khoshilat Beya Al Hiyool (The Asterisk) and Khoshilat Mingod (Cheryls Drop).
Cheryls Drop is named after Cheryl Jones, who together with her husband, Don Davidson, first discovered the cave entrances in June 1983.
Once inside the cave, the dimensions of the chamber are mind-blowing. At 340m (1115 ft.) long, 228m (738 ft.) wide, and with a ceiling height of 120m (389 ft.), the chamber would be large enough to house a dozen jumbo jets parked wing to wing.
In fact, at the moment of its discovery, Majlis al Jinn was cited as the second largest cave chamber in the world. A number of other discoveries have since displaced the cave from the top list though, with at least 8 other cave rooms larger than Majlis an Jinn by surface area and/or volume.
The maximum temperature inside the cave is between 17-18°C (62-64°F).
There is a local legend of a woman named Selma, who lived in the cave many years ago. Selma got on the wrong side of an enormous, one-eyed genie (Jinn), who was, for some reason, extremely angry with her. She found herself running for her life across the plateau, as Jinn threw lightning bolts at her. Fortunately for Selma, Jinn’s depth perception was poor as a result of only possessing one eye, and three of those lightning bolts went astray, fracturing the earth and creating the cave entrances we know today.
How to get to Majlis al Jinn
The cave is remotely located and relatively inaccessible. You will need a 4WD vehicle and suitable weather in order to reach the site. Plans are afoot to develop the cave into a tourism spot, though for the time being, a permit is required from local authorities prior to visiting.