A FORGOTTEN WORLD: Giant 630-foot sinkhole in China reveals STUNNING secret

China is known to have several giant sinkholes, including the biggest one in the world


                            A FORGOTTEN WORLD: Giant 630-foot sinkhole in China reveals STUNNING secret
A huge ancient forest has been found under a 630-foot sinkhole in China (Image used for illustration. Credits: @NineDragons2/Twitter)
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Scientists have discovered a whole forest within a 630-foot-deep massive sinkhole in China. Reportedly, the sinkhole is home to a diversity of ancient trees and plants, some of which are potentially new species.

Cave researchers in Leye County, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, found the sinkhole on Friday, May 6, after discovering three cave openings inside a 1,004-foot-long and 492-foot-wide depression. China is known to have several giant sinkholes, including the biggest one in the world. The sinkhole at Xiaozhai Tiankeng is 2,100 feet deep, 2,000 feet long, and 1,760 feet wide, with a waterfall amid its depths. It looks like something out of Minecraft.

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Talking to Live Science, expedition leader Chen Lixin stated: “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". He added that some of the trees found in the forest were nearly 130 feet tall. 

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Variations in geology, temperature, and other variables, according to George Veni, executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, mean that karst – a terrain where dissolving bedrock may result in such sinkholes – can vary greatly depending on where it is found. "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.”

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The expert is astonished by the jaw-dropping discovery. According to him, southern China's environment is prone to stunning sinkholes and strange caverns due to its enormous karst geology. In a karst terrain, it is the slightly acidic precipitation that starts the process of dissolving the bedrock, he noted.

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As it passes through the soil, it takes up carbon dioxide, making it more acidic. It then trickles, rushes, and flows through fissures in the bedrock, hollowing them down into tunnels and voids in the process. When these holes or chambers get large enough, the ceiling collapses and produces a sinkhole. As mentioned earlier, China boasts the world's largest sinkhole, and the new discovery marks the region's 30th.

 

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