Environment
World’s largest cave in Vietnam to be introduced in 60 countries
  • | VietnamNet | June 10, 2011 07:27 PM

The world’s first 3-dimension scientific reportage is about Vietnam’s Son Doong cave and it will be broadcast in 60 countries on June 25.

The 3D reportage was produced by Japan’s Kyodo Film and will be broadcast on Japan’s NHK World TV in 60 countries, according to officials from Quang Binh province, the home to Son Doong, which is classified as the largest cave in the world.

The reportage, called “Let’s Fell the Grandness of Nature”, has been made by Japan ’s Kyodo film studio with assistance of Quang Binh province and the British Cave Research Association (BCRA).

Son Doong (Mountain River) Cave was announced as the largest in the world by BCRA, and selected as one of the most beautiful in the globe by the BBC news. The cave can contain a 40-storey building.

Son Doong cave was first spotted in Quang Binh’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park by a local man named Ho Khanh in 1991.

The cave was then made known publicly as lately as in 2009 by a group of British scientists from BCRA, led by Howard Limbert, after their surveying trip in Phong Nha-Ke Bang Park .

According to Limbert, the cave is five times larger than the nearby Phong Nha cave, previously considered to be the largest cave in Vietnam.

Son Doong cave is found to have a length of at least 6.5km. It is estimated to be 200m in width and 150m in height. The largest chamber of the cave is judged to be 250m in height.

Scientists have also discovered a great number of stalactites in astonishingly extraordinary shapes and also primitive forests in the cave.

Son Doong Cave in National Graphics’ photos:



A giant cave column swagged in flowstone towers over explorers swimming through the depths of Hang Ken, one of 20 new caves discovered last year in Vietnam.

A climber ascends a shaft of light in Loong Con, where humidity rises into cool air and forms clouds inside the cave.

A half-mile block of 40-story buildings could fit inside this lit stretch of Son Doong, which may be the world\'s biggest subterranean passage.

A jungle inside a cave? A roof collapse long ago in Hang Son Doong let in light; plants thickly followed.

Mist sweeps past the hills of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, its 330 square miles set aside in 2001 to protect one of Asia\'s largest cave systems.

Going underground, expedition members enter Hang En, a cave tunneled out by the Rao Thuong River. Dwindling to a series of ponds during the dry months, the river can rise almost 300 feet during the flood season, covering the rocks where cavers stand.

Headroom shrinks in the middle of Hang En as cavers pass beneath a ceiling scalloped by eons of floodwater rushing past. The river shortly reemerges onto the surface, then burrows into Son Doong after a few miles.

Like a petrified waterfall, a cascade of fluted limestone, greened by algae, stops awestruck cavers in their tracks. They\'re near the exit of Hang En.

Moss-slick boulders and a 30-foot drop test adventurers at the forest-shrouded entrance to Son Doong.

Son Doong\'s airy chambers sprout life where light enters from above—a different world from the bare, cramped, pitch-black spaces familiar to most cavers. Ferns and other greenery colonize rimstone. In the jungles directly beneath
roof openings, explorers have seen monkeys, snakes, and birds.

Rare cave pearls fill dried-out terrace pools near the Garden of Edam in Son Doong. This unusually large collection of stone spheres formed drip by drip over the centuries as calcite crystals left behind by water layered themselves around grains of sand, enlarging over time.

Navigating an algae-skinned maze, explorers lead the way across a sculpted cavescape in Hang Son Doong. Ribs form as calcite-rich water overflows pools.

The trickiest challenge for the expedition team was to find a way over the Great Wall of Vietnam, an overhanging mass of flowstone that blocked the way deep inside Son Doong.

Like a castle on a knoll, a rock formation shines beneath a skylight in Son Doong. A storm had just filled the pool, signaling that exploring season was coming to an end.

Dubbed the Great Wall of Vietnam, a 200-foot cliff halted the advance of the first team to enter Son Doong, in 2009.

"It sounded like a roaring train," said an explorer, describing the noise a second before a waterfall exploded into Son Doong through the Watch Out for Dinosaurs doline, or sinkhole opening.

In the dry season, from November to April, a caver can safely explore Hang Ken, with its shallow pools. Come the monsoon, the underground river swells and floods the passages, making the cave impassable.

Taking the only way in, a climber descends 225 feet by rope into Loong Con. A survey party discovered the cave in 2010, hoping it would connect with the enormous Son Doong. A wall of boulders soon blocked the way, but a powerful draft indicated that a large cavern lay on the other side.

Streams of light from the surface unveil stalagmites fat and thin on the floor of Loong Con. Cavers called the new find the Cactus Garden.

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