World’s largest cave passage finally revealed

For whatever reason, caves appeal to me. And although I’m admittedly a novice, my brawniness negotiated only by yoga, caving appeals to me, as well. I just started exploring caves a few years ago and have found my efforts to expand on the practice stifled by White Nose Syndrome, a condition that has left bats for dead in caves from Canada to Oklahoma. While White Nose Syndrome continues to spread in North America and the cause continues to elude scientists, a sleeping giant on the other side of the world has recently awakened and with it, my insatiable curiosity.

The world’s biggest cave passage has been discovered in Vietnam. The Hang Son Doong cave (or “mountain river cave”) was originally measured at 262 feet by 262 feet and at least 2.8 miles deep. According to National Geographic news in July 2009, this made Hang Son Doong the largest single cave passage ever discovered.

The announcement of the discovery had adventurers everywhere buzzing. Unfortunately, due to seasonal and prohibitive flood waters at the time, the research team exploring the cave had been blocked from further probing. Explorers have since returned to the cave and the January 2011 edition of National Geographic reveals the cave as the true behemoth it is.

With tales of passages 300 feet wide and 800 feet tall the verdict is in: this cave is extraordinary.

Read more at National Geographic.

[photo by Ben Britz]