Cave explorers in southern China have discovered a huge sinkhole. Its total depth only in the first chamber exceeds 1,000 ft. Three separate entrances lead to the sinkhole and 130 ft tall prehistoric trees have been found at its bottom.
Southern China is known for its magnificent karst landscapes. They are formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. The ceiling erodes over millions of years, revealing huge sinkholes underneath.
The huge sinkhole measures 1,003 ft long. From the inside, the cave seems to be a truly different world. Its volume exceeds 176573333,6 cubic feet!
The bottom of the hole is covered with dense forests of 130 ft tall trees. The speleologists had to use drones to explore the area.
Then the team members descended 300 feet down. Within six hours, they had explored only the first cave.
"Karst caves of this type can be an oasis of life. We would not be surprised to discover species here that science had not previously known about," explained George Vennie, executive director of the National Research Institute of Arizona.
About 30 sinkholes have previously been found in the same area but their size is much smaller.
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