Chinese explorers have discovered a huge sinkhole in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of southern China that sheltered a stunning ancient forest range below.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, the trees are 131 feet tall and are likely to find more life than ever before.
The sinkhole is 630-feet deep, 1,000-feet long, and 490-feet wide. It is one of 30 well-known sinkholes located in Leigh County in the Autonomous Region.
Cave explorers had to hike for a few hours before reaching the bottom of the sinkhole. There, they found three entrances, the report added. Beneath the sinkhole is lined with a “well-preserved primitive forest.”
Chen Lexin, leader of the Guangxi 702 cave expedition team, told the agency that the ancient trees below were about 40 meters high (131 feet) and the densely shaded trees up to one’s shoulders. Mr Lexin said he would not be surprised if science never reported a description of the species in these caves.
“This is great news,” George Wayne, executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) in the United States, told LiveScience. He said sinkholes in other parts of the world could be quite small, just one or two meters in diameter.
Mr Vennie added that karst aquifers provide the primary water source for 700 million people worldwide. But they are easily contaminated.
The Guangxi region is known for its beautiful karst landscape, which was formed primarily by the melting of the bedrock. South China has an abundance of karst formations that have earned the region the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.