In 1991, a simple farmer stumbled across a previously unexplored cave in Phon Nha-Ke Bang national park, Vietnam. A terrible roar of water emanated from the entrance, frightening him, and he decided not to go inside. The local inhabitants named the cave Son Doong, but none of them dared to explore it.
It was only in 2009 that a group of British scientists led by Howard Limbert, having once again located the cave, decided to go inside. What they found was an entirely self-contained world, five kilometres long and 150 metres wide. Having explored it, they were able to confirm that Son Doong is in fact the largest cave on the planet.
This unique place has its own flora, fauna, lakes and even clouds. Bright Side decided to share some photos and impressions of this incredible new world that’s been discovered.
In order to get into the cave, you have to descend 80 metres under the ground using a rope.
There’s a river in the cave, with a relatively fast current.
There are small, emerald-coloured lakes, and even beaches.
The cave contains a wealth of ancient fossils and stalactites.
Stalagmites of record size — up to 70 metres tall — also ’grow’ there.
A thick jungle of three-metre-thick trees has grown up. Various different kinds of animals inhabit the cave, including monkeys, hornbill birds, and bats.
The cave even has its own unique climatic conditions; clouds form there due to a sharp difference in temperature with the outside world.
Photo credit: flickr