A team of Chinese scientists discovered a huge karst sinkhole, or sinkhole, with an ancient forest inside.
The hole is located in Leye County in southern China and is 192 meters deep. According to the news agency Xinhuathe mysterious cave houses primitive trees up to 40 meters high.
To survive, these trees extend their branches into the sunlight filtering through the sinkhole entrance.
The cave has three entrances, which were discovered by some cavers who rappelled into the sinkhole and walked for several hours to reach the bottom last Friday.
The pit is 306 meters long, 150 meters wide and its volume exceeds 5 million cubic meters, so it can be classified as a large sinkhole, according to Zhang Yuanhai, chief engineer with the Institute of Karst Geology.
This new hole adds to a similar thirty existing in Leye and is a paradise of abundant fauna, with tall trees and plants that can reach a person’s shoulders, he told Xinhua the leader of the expedition team, Chen Lixin.
The hole could even harbor species that science has not yet recorded. Chen stated that he “would not be surprised” to discover new species inside the hole.
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These giant sinkholes, also known as Tiankeng (heavenly pit) in Chinese, have special geological features found in karst regions and formed by repeated landslides.
These types of phenomena can be found mainly in China, Mexico and Papua New Guinea. Many even act as aquifers and water sources.