While the official Wonders of the World are certainly nothing short of astounding, the recent discovery of an enormous cave system in China could be set to blow them all out of the water. A team of 15 expert spelunkers and photographers recently made their way into Er Wang Dong in the Chinese province of Chongqing, and what they found exceeded anything they could have imagined.
The discovery of the hidden entrance to Er Wang Dong and subsequent exploration were undertaken during a month-long expedition of the Chongqing province, which holds some of China’s largest cave systems. Explorers were stunned to enter a cave chamber covered in lush vegetation, an area so huge that clouds had begun to form in higher levels of the cave that completely obscured the roof, more than 250 meters above the floor. Dubbed Cloud Ladder Hall, this chamber measures roughly 12.5 acres, or 12 NFL football fields in total.
Initial examination of the site revealed that the cave had once been used for nitrate mining near the entrances, but exploration of the Er Wang Dong had not taken place prior to the latest expedition. The neighboring cave, Sang Wang Dong, held a number of incredible sights as well, including towering stalagmites and stalactites, rushing waters of a local river, and crystalline pools that snake through impossibly tall cave walls.
These cave systems are part of the Wulong Karst National Geology Park and the South China Karst, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, regarded for its rich biodiversity and unique karst landscape and formations. Check out this slideshow of the amazing images captured during the expedition.
Images via Wikipedia, Caters News Agency
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