Sunday, August 14, 2011

Largest cave in the world - Hang Son Doong

The World is again held spellbound by one the world’s greatest discoveries – this time a gigantic cave located in the heart of the Vietnamese jungle. Hang Son Doong (which means “mountain river cave”) was recently discovered by Members of a British expedition. Located near the Laos-Vietnam border, it was created 2-5 million years ago by river water eroding away the limestone underneath the mountain. It’s believed to be almost five times larger than the current record holder – the Deer Cave, Malaysia.


The cave was found by a local man named Hồ-Khanh in 1991. The local jungle men were afraid of the cave for the whistling sound it makes from the underground river. However, not until 2009 was it made known to the public when a group of British scientists from theBritish Cave Research Association, led by Howard and Deb Limbert, conducted a survey in Phong Nha-Ke Bang from April 10-14, 2009.Their progress was stopped by a large calcite wall


The first expedition in 2009, cavers explored two and a half miles of the cave until they ran into a segment inside that can fit a half-mile block of 40-story-building. A year later, they returned with more cavers and a crew of porters. A mile into the cave, it is large blue hole enough for a 747 airplane to fly through. The cave’ topographic is unique, because the inside can be found not only the usual karst formations and tunnels, but entire areas of trees, plants and animals.


The cave is covered by jungles and one has to be very close to the cave to find it. Hang Son Doong features an underground jungle with 100ft tall trees, nicknamed the “Garden of Edam”. The cave is very eerie and noisy-the expediting team fears of the poisonous centipedes that lie inside.


The biggest chamber of Son Doong is over five kilometers in length, 200 meters high and 150 meters wide. It’s amazing that there are still places like this still out there waiting to be explored. The discovery has again unfolded that nature is the biggest mystery that lies in the path.