Just imagine the surprise when cave explorers found an ancient rainforest on the bottom of a 630-foot sinkhole in China!
Discovered in the country’s southern Guangxi region, this unusual sinkhole is home to mighty trees that stretch nearly 130 feet out of the abyss.
According to EcoWatch, the expedition leader Chen Lixin said he wouldn’t be surprised if there were species in those caves that have never been reported or described by science until now.
“Lixin’s team completed their expedition on May 6, USA TODAY reported. In addition to the trees, they also encountered undergrowth that reached their shoulders. The sinkhole contains three caves and has a total volume of 5 million cubic meters, meaning it would take 2,000 Olympic swimming pools to fill it. It is 1,000 feet long and 500 feet wide.”
Interestingly, this is the 30th sinkhole found in China’s Leye county.
These giant sinkholes, known locally as “tiankeng” or “heavenly pits” are common in this part of the country.
The region is characterized by karst, a type of landscape that occurs when rainwater mixed with carbon dioxide wears away at bedrock, leaving limestone caves and sinkholes.
The local specifics in climate and geology cause karst to appear in rather spectacular forms at the surface, such as giant sinkholes and cave entrances you could drive a jumbo jet through.
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