If there is one thing that we know about the world around us, is the fact that it is incredible and perhaps even just a little mysterious. This is being seen in the most amazing way in China, thanks to a discovery at the bottom of a sinkhole.
The 630-foot sinkhole in China was recently looked into by scientists and they discovered something amazing underneath it. There are ancient trees and plants underneath the ground that are fed light from the sinkhole and it may just include some species that have never been discovered.
The sinkhole was discovered on May 6 by cave explorers in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. There are three cave entrances that have been discovered inside of the void that is over 1000 feet long and almost 500 feet wide.
In speaking with Life Science, the leader of the expedition, Chen Lixin said: “I wouldn’t be surprised to know that there are species found in these caves that have never been reported or described by science until now.”
Some of the trees that were found in the forest were almost 130 feet tall!
The executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, George Veni spoke about how the terrain inside of the dissolving bedrock can be different than elsewhere.
He said: “In China you have this incredibly visually spectacular karst with enormous sinkholes and giant cave entrances and so forth. In other parts of the world you walk out on the karst and you really don’t notice anything. Sinkholes might be quite subdued, only a meter or two in diameter. Cave entrances might be very small, so you have to squeeze your way into them.”
A cave exploration team discovered a giant sinkhole in southern China, bringing the number of such sinkholes in the county to 30. pic.twitter.com/a4IVFogIG9
— South China Morning Post (@SCMPNews) May 11, 2022
Although it certainly is an amazing discovery, he wasn’t all that surprised by it. He said that southern China is home to such a diverse topography that the sinkholes and unusual caves can occur anywhere. He also said that the rainwater picks up carbon dioxide as it goes through the soil which makes it more acidic.
Eventually, the acidity in the water can get into the cracks in the bedrock and lead to tunnels and voids.
As above, so below? China finds ancient forest underneath mountain! https://t.co/S4KP2pbaRt
— Cynthia McKinney PhD (@cynthiamckinney) May 13, 2022
Eventually, the hole gets large enough that the ceiling collapses, and a sinkhole is formed.
Source: Live Science