Five intersting facts about Son Doong cave

01 January 2014 Last updated at17:55 GMT
The marvelous setting and impressive formation of Son Doong Cave is said to be out of imagination of any artist.
Recognized as the World’s largest natural cave, Son Doong – Quang Binh Province in Centre Vietnam contains many mysteries that scientists over the World have not yet fully decoded. This is also the place many adventure-minded tourists willing to pay a huge price for a life-time-discovery but finding their name not on the list until 2016.

The cave was accidentally discovered by a local hunter in a rainy day

It is surprised enough that this World’s largest cave and very important geological site was not discovered by geologists, scientists nor any professional cave explorer but accidentally by a local hunter in a rainy day when he looked for a shelter to hind himself from a tropical downpour.
In 1991, Ho Khanh, a farmer and huntsman on his journey for jungle game caught a rain and accidentally found the cave mouth as a shelter. Ho did not really recognize how big his discovery was. There had been nothing recorded and things was almost forgotten for nearly twenty years until the British Caving Association came to explore the karst system in the area in 2009 and got informed by Ho about a cave hidden somewhere in the middle of the jungle.

Expert exploring Son Doong cave

Part of the cave ceiling fell off some hundred years ago allowing rain water and sunlight to pass through making a good condition for plants to grow in the cave. Photo: Huffington Post.

It was really difficult to re-find the cave mouth that locates deep in the dense forest on very difficult terrain, far away from any road or path and unsearchable with Google Earth.
With helps from Ho, explorers finally found the cave. They got deep inside, measured things, collected data, taking pictures and that was the story of a giant natural wonder revealed.

Son Doong is so big that a 40 storey building can be placed inside

Averagely 150m (492 feet) in width, 200m (656 feet) in height and a great length of 5km (3.1 miles), Son Doong has surpassed her counterpart, the Deer Cave in Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia (150m wide, 120m high and 2km in lenght) to become the largest natural cave in the World. In one place, the height between the cave floor and its ceiling is measured 243.84m (800 feet) meaning there is enough room for a 40 storey building. However, that is what so far could be recorded by the British Caving Association’s explorers, the length of the cave can be much greater and no one has yet reached to the dead-end due to technical and equipment limitation.

It is a 5 million years old cave

According to scientific documents, the Son Doong Cave was formed when an underground river ran through and between layers of sinking limestone area along a geological fault. Through millions of years, the water eroded the rock and formed a huge tunnel under the ground between mountains. At some part, the loose ceiling fell off forming big holes that enlarged gradually by the chemical influences.

Amazing formation and scenery of the cave

Son Doong is considered the most impressive karst cave in the World. Apart from amazing stalactites and stalagmites that amaze any people, just beyond the big cave hole is a luxuriant forest that named Eden by cave explorers. This forest is the habitat of many monkeys and flying foxes. Giant trees, ferns of many type, tropical palms and creeping plants form particular canopies from cave mouth to inside.  
The cave floor and wall where water available grow thick layers of moss and alga that is home of many different insects and small animals.
Once inside the cave you will find yourself lost in something like a fairy world. Ancient lakes, falls and underground rivers make the cave like a living body with full of sights and sounds. Light beams pass through ceiling reflecting on rocks as it was in a magical play. There are waves of stalagmite on the cave floor with rock ball look like pearls formed by running water through thousands of years. All make it the amazing sight that you can only find in Hollywood grand movies.  

Why tourist visit to Son Doong is limited

In order to protect the typical and special environment as well as the survey of cave system has not yet completed, Son Doong Cave so far is just a researching place for cave explorers and scientist than for tourists. If you want to explore this wonder, a special arrangement may be needed or you may have to wait until a path lead to the cave is built that makes access to the cave easier.

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