Sensational discoveries can hit the hearts and plunge the mind to think ahead of time. The humans of the 21st century have seen many sensational discoveries and inventions. Yet, people still assume that everything has been discovered. Many times, nature had proven this assumption wrong. What a farmer saw in 1991 became one of the sensational discoveries in the history of the discoveries by mankind. Let’s go deep down to decode his discovery.
The background story
Ho Khanh was a small farmer in Vietnam. One day, he set out into the forest of Phong Nha Ke Bang to find aloe plants which he would later sell in the market. According to some other sources, Ho Khanh also liked trekking in these forests. It was said that he used to frequently manoeuvre his way through the jungles of Phong Nha forest and end up staying there for weeks. Phong Nha Ke Bang is now a protected national park and is also evaluated as one of the 238 globally important ecological regions. It is the largest karst region in the world with ranges of calcareous mountains that have been evolving continuously. The forest also contains primitive tropical vegetation, though it is affected due to climate change. The forest of Phong Nha boasts of exclusive biodiversity of flora and fauna.
The Successor of the sensational discoveries
When Ho Khanh adventured into this forest, he lost his way after a while. Meanwhile, he sat down to rest on the forest floor. He was astonished to hear sounds of strong winds and water flowing through nearby. However, he felt that it was coming from under the ground. He also came across a limestone cliff and he approached that place to further investigate on those sounds. When he came the next day to look for those sounds, he could not trace back his steps and ultimately ended up not finding what he was looking for.
It was after 18 years of this incident that Ho Khanh along with the British Cave Research Association set out to find the unidentified subterranean area. The two eminent members of British Cave Research Association who were a part of this mission are Howard and Deb Limbert. It was not as if they could find the way to the cave on the very first go. They had to face failure multiple times and finally found a cave with clouds and a river inside. This is quite an amazing cave in the world. After all, little did they know that they would end up the finding of a gigantic ecosystem itself that this cave resembles. These researches went out to find out more about the cave and its other elements from 20009 to 2010. The cave has been open for the public to since the starting of the year 2013.
Son Doong Cave
The cave that the researchers and Ho Khanh discovered would later become known as Hang Son Doong, which literally translates to the ‘Mountain River Cave’. Undoubtedly, the name is due to its geography and location. Though the Phong Nha national park is the most popular Karst system in Asia, between 400 and 450 million years old, this cave is considered to be relatively young. After an analysis of the sediments in this cave, that was brought down by flowing rivers, it was evident that caves date back only to 3 million years.
The expanse of the cave
The first expedition into this cave was not successful, as if saw some hurdles. The expedition was halted by an 80-metre high calcite barrier. After the crew members came out, this barrier was hilariously dubbed to be called as ‘Great Wall of Vietnam’. It was in 2010 that the second expedition went successfully. The members of the crew could finally climb the tall calcite barrier and see the end of the passage. It was then that Son Doong Cave is the world’s largest cave.
According to estimates, Son Doong Cave is very large that it could comfortably house an entire block of New York City with 40 story skyscrapers. The cave is 5 km long and its sections reach up to 200 metres tall and 150 metres wide. It has a total measured volume of 38.5 million cubic metres, which is very large, a number. The previous recorder for the world’s largest cave was Deer Cave in Malaysia and Son Doong Cave can easily surpass the previous one.
Exploring the Cave
There are a number of lines in the cave that allow sunlight to fall in and make conditions favourable for vegetative growth. One can also find the world’s tallest stag mites here. There are a number of agencies in Vietnam that provide services for exploring this cave. One can go on a number of expeditions and enjoy the beautiful scenarios inside the walls of this cave. It is definitely interesting to know how this cave was discovered and the story behind it. If one is a cave enthusiast, this Son Doong Cave is a must-visit place in one’s bucket list.
These sensational discoveries can help you think ahead of time.