A massive cave hall containing an abundance of natural beauty has been discovered underneath a famous sinkhole in southern China.
A joint expedition team of Chinese and British researchers found the giant cave hall in the Nongle sinkhole in Fengshan County, Guangxi region.
The Nongle sinkhole measures more than 200 meters (656 feet) long, 100 meters (328 feet) wide and 118 meters (387 feet) deep, according to CCTV.
It turns out that the inclined collapse of the southeast part of its bottom formed a giant cave hall, which opens to an ethereal, underground world.
The hall, measuring 6.7 million cubic meters (236.6 million cubic feet), preserves sediments such as rock blocks, stone pillars and cave beads in pristine form.
Researchers used advanced 3D technology to scan the sinkhole and its underlying structures.
Zhang Yuanhai, the lead explorer, told China’s Technology Daily that a team of Hong Kong researchers first discovered the hall, but their studies led to the discovery of a sub-hall, which they now call the “courtyard.”
The courtyard, measuring 50 meters (164 feet) wide and 150 meters (492 feet) tall, suggests that the cave had actually been in the process of collapsing.
“This giant cave hall was actually discovered by a Hong Kong expedition last year, so it was named ‘Hong Kong·Haiting Hall.’ This time, we mainly determined its volume and world-class status through three-dimensional scanning,” Zhang said.
Zhang pointed out that such a cave provides significant evidence for studying the Earth’s evolution. That being said, its formation unlikely happened overnight.
“These giant caves are natural caves, most of which are caused by collapses and are related to underground rivers. The formation of all caves is not a one-step process. They basically have a history of more than 2 million years.”
Images via YouTube / CGTN