Chinese researchers have discovered a lost world beneath the Earth’s surface when they descended into a previously unexplored sinkhole. There they encountered gigantic ancient trees and surprising vegetation, and it is said that unprecedented life forms may even live in the sinkhole.
It is 630 feet deep, 1,000 feet long and 490 feet wide. Thirty sinkholes are known in Leye County of the autonomous region, and this is one of them.
Although we are in the 21st century, have explored the surface of the moon and mapped distant worlds, there are still secrets that our planet has not fully revealed. Antarctica has been fully explored, and the highest mountains have been climbed. We have reached the unimaginable depths of our planet’s oceans, but our planet is not giving up.
In the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, a huge hole in the earth has been discovered, containing impressive ancient forests.
Inside the gigantic cave, the explorers discovered forests of ancient trees that rose more than 130 feet into the air.
The cavers had to hike for several hours before they reached the bottom of the cave. There, after a difficult journey “into” our world, they found three entrances. The floor of the cave is lined with a “well-preserved jungle,” and the researchers believe that this new world is likely home to a never-before-seen life form.
Chen Lixin, the leader of the Guangxi Cave 702 expedition team, also said that the vegetation inside the cave was impressive, with dense shade plants reaching up to the shoulders.
“This is great news,” George Veni, executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) in the U.S., told Live Science.
Er sagte, in den meisten anderen Teilen der Welt seien Höhlen eher unauffällig, nur ein oder zwei Meter im Durchmesser. Höhlenforscher entdeckten die verborgene Welt jedoch im Mai 2022, als sie in ein bis dahin unerforschtes riesiges Sinkloch hinabstiegen, das sich über mehr als 176 Millionen Kubikfuß erstreckt.
30th giant karst sinkhole discovered in south China's Guangxi pic.twitter.com/52ZxFnyuWF
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) May 11, 2022
The Guangxi region is characterized by a beautiful karst landscape. Karst landscapes are usually formed when the rock dissolves. Karst formations cover large parts of southern China and earned the region the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Such sinkholes are known in Mandarin as “tiankeng” or “heavenly pits,” and the bottom of the sinkhole truly seemed like another world to explorers when they descended into it.
According to the researchers, karst caves and sinkholes can be an oasis for life, protecting it from outside influences and allowing it to thrive.
Sinkholes occur when the surface layer collapses, creating a depression in the ground. Many sinkholes are formed by karst processes – chemical changes in the carbonate rock or suffosion processes. The diameter and depth of sinkholes can range from 3 to 2,000 feet, and they can take the form of earth-lined bowls to chasms at the edge of bedrock. Sinkholes occur in most parts of the world and can be gradual or sudden.
Note* The image does not show the newly discovered sinkhole. The photo is from a previous expedition.