Chinese speleologists have found a new cave in the ground 192 m deep with three exits and 40-meter trees at the bottom. The team went down there last week. The cave is located in the Guangxi Zhuang region of China, near the village of Ping’e in Leie County. Thanks to the find, 30 similar caves are now officially registered in the area. Guangxi is famous for its amazing reliefs, from caves to pillars, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The discovery here is natural, because the south of China is a citadel of karst landscapes that turn into large funnels and caves. They appear due to the destruction of bedrock: rainwater absorbs carbon dioxide from the soil, acquiring acidity, and flows through the gaps in the stones, gradually turning them into voids. When the cave gets too big and the top layer thins out, the ceiling collapses, exposing them.
Due to different conditions of geology, climate and other factors, karst manifests itself differently on the terrain. Somewhere it is noticeable, but somewhere you can walk along it, not suspecting that there is a huge cave under your feet 2 meters away. According to the National Cave and Karst Research Institute in the United States, about 20% of our planet’s land area is covered by karst or pseudokarst, in which caves are formed, for example, by volcanic activity or wind.
Found cave 306 m long and 150 m wide. In China, there is a term to describe such large funnels – “tiankeng”, which means “paradise pit”. Dense vegetation at the bottom reaches almost human height and is a kind of oasis. Scientists admit that species of animals and plants still unknown to science can live here. For example, in one such cave in West Texas, tropical ferns thrive, the spores of which, apparently, were carried there by bats during migration.
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