A huge sinkhole discovered in China and sheltering a virgin forest

A huge chasm karst 192 meters deep was discovered in southern China, near the village of Ping’e in Luoxi County. This gaping hole measures 306 meters long and 150 meters wide for a volume exceeding 5 million cubic meters, making it possible to classify it among the great abysses. These, under the name of Tiankeng (translated as “heavenly pit”), are special geological regions where the landscape has been shaped by the dissolution of rock by rainwater, creating a void in the subsoil and ultimately, collapse repeated.

A team of speleologists descended to the bottom of this abyss last Friday, May 6, and Chen Lixin, leader of this team, reports that they found a lush forest composed oftrees centenarians climbing up to about 40 meters high and vegetation on the ground rising to shoulder height. This primeval forest could conceivably contain a diversity ofspecies unknown to mammals and D’insects.

The Chinese news agency, Xinhua, specifies that this discovery raises the number of chasms discovered in the county of Leye to 30 – some smaller than others – including, in particular, dozens in the province of Shaanxi, in the northwest of China.

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