Secret Underground Cave In Vietnam, A Hidden Portal To A WHOLE Magnificent NEW WORLD
The world, which seems so clear and simple to us, actually contains many unsolved mysteries and secrets. Some of them Planet Earth shares very reluctantly with us. For example, in a country that seemed to be already well-researched, like Vietnam, a cave was discovered in 2009, which has no equal on the whole planet.
Hang Sơn Đoòng is the largest cave in the world today and, perhaps, one of the most curious. The name Hang Sơn Đoòng in Vietnamese means “Cave of the mountain river”.
The size of the cave is really amazing: more than 200 meters of width, about 150 meters of height and the record length is 9 kilometers. The Sơn Đoòng Cave is part of an extensive, and unexplored system, which includes more than 150 caves.
The British Association of Cave Investigators (BCRA) has classified Hang Sơn Đoòng as the largest cave in the world. Prior to this, the honorable first place belonged to Deer Cave, located on the island of Borneo. Dimensions of Deer Cave were much more modest (width 90 meters, height 100 meters and a length of 2 km) compared to Hang Sơn Đoòng.
Hang Sơn Đoòng is located in the Quảng Bình Province (Central Vietnam), in the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park near the border with Laos.
It’s hard to believe that this giant cave was unknown to people for millions of years!
The Sơn Đoòng Cave was first discovered in 1991. A local resident named Hồ Khanh accidentally discovered the entrance to a hitherto unknown cave. Trying to go deep into the depths, he did not succeed – the young man was frightened by a whistling noise coming from the cave and its dimensions, which because of the pitch darkness could not even be imagined.
The world community learned about this miracle of nature only in 2009, when a group of British speleologists and enthusiasts led by Howard and Deb Limbert conducted a research expedition to the cave.
During the expedition, which took place in April 2009, about four kilometers of cave tunnels were explored, until the obstacle in the form of a 70-meter monolithic rock of calcite prevented the advancement of the group.
A year later, a second expedition was undertaken to overcome the obstacle and continue further exploration of the cave. The sensational information provided by Howard Limbert after the expedition shook the entire speleological world!
Hang Sơn Đoòng is undoubtedly the largest cave on the planet. In one of its rooms an average skyscraper could easily fit. However, not only the impressive dimensions made it unique in the eyes of scientists – in the bowels of the cave was hidden a real underground world with high stone columns and deep abysses.
In order to get into the interior of the cave, brave visitors need to overcome the 80-meter descent along the rope. Passages inside the cave are blocked by a large rock, which in time gained the dramatic name of the Great Wall of Vietnam. All the stones in the walls of the cave are constantly wet, making them incredibly slippery. That’s why for the descents and ascents on these practically vertical walls, and even in the impenetrable darkness, the most reliable climbing equipment is needed.
Thanks to the Australian speleologist and talented photographer John Spies, it was possible to peek into the underground world of the grand Sơn Đoòng cave and watch the tourists traveling in its bowels.
Inside the cave flows the underground Rao Tuong River, which for a long time carefully created wonderful tunnels in the solid rock formations. At some places, the underground river comes to the surface of the earth.
In droughty months, the river turns into a small stream, but when the seasonal flood begins, the river becomes full again, filling up to the limit with water most of the tunnels in the cave.
The giant stalagmites of the Vietnamese cave sometimes reach a 70-meter height. In the rays of light, they resemble stone cactuses. Speleologists also call this place the Garden of Cactuses.
It is incredible that even underground, due to the mixing of air masses at different temperatures, clouds can be observed.
Long ago, in the “roof” of the Sơn Đoòng cave cracks were formed, through which daylight broke in the underground halls. Together with it, plants also grew in the cave. Now here you can find not only limestone ledges entirely covered with a carpet of tender greenery but also thick thickets of a real jungle. And here live not only various insects, snakes, and rodents, but even birds and monkeys.
In the depths of the cave, scientists discovered new, yet unknown species of plants, perhaps thousands of years ago.
Another interesting finding of scientists is the cave pearl. The formation of cave pearls refers to rare natural phenomena and is of unprecedented interest to researchers. Dripping water for hundreds of years creates layers of calcite, gently enveloping each grain of sand. In its composition, such pearls differ little from pearls produced by mollusks, but it cannot boast an attractive mother-of-pearl luster.
Currently, the Hang Son Doong Cave is open to public tours. Would you guys visit this incredibly gorgeous place? I know I would!