The bottom of the giant karst sinkhole, or sinkhole, is home to an ancient forest that may be populated by species that science has yet to record.
A team of Chinese cave scientists has discovered a giant karst sinkhole, or sinkhole, with an ancient forest inside, multiple media outlets have reported.
The hole, in Leye County in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, is 192 meters deep and is home to primitive trees up to 40 meters tall, stretching their branches out into the sunlight filtering through the hole. entrance of the sinkhole, the Xinhua news agency reported.
The team of Chinese scientists discovered three cave entrances in the sinkhole after some cavers rappelled into the sinkhole and walked for several hours to reach the bottom of the sinkhole last Friday (May 6). With the current discovery, the number of sinkholes of this type in Leye rises to 30.
Inside, the sinkhole is 306 meters long, 150 meters wide and its volume exceeds 5 million cubic meters, so it can be classified as a large sinkhole, Zhang Yuanhai, chief engineer of the Institute of Karst Geology.
Besides the tall trees, some of the plants growing in the well-preserved ancient forest can reach a person’s shoulders, expedition team leader Chen Lixin told Xinhua.
The hole could even harbor species that science has yet to record. Chen stated that he “would not be surprised” to discover new species inside the hole.
According to Xinhua reports, giant sinkholes, also known as Tiankeng (heavenly pit) in Chinese, are sinkholes, or giant pits, with special geological features found in karst regions formed by repeated landslides. They are mainly found in China, Mexico and Papua New Guinea.
Many sinkholes also act as aquifers and water sources, LiveScience reported. For 700 million people, sinkhole aquifers are the main source of water, cave expert George Veni explained to the scientific media.
“In China there is an incredibly spectacular karst, with huge sinkholes and gigantic cave entrances, etc,” Veni said. “In other parts of the world you walk through the karst and you don’t really notice anything.”