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Scientists Discover an Ancient Forest Inside a Giant Sinkhole in China

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Scientists Discover an Ancient Forest Inside a Giant Sinkhole in China

Scientists Discover an Ancient Forest Inside a Giant Sinkhole in China

Cave explorers stumbled upon a prehistoric forest at the bottom of a giant sinkhole in South China. Sinkholes such as these are also known in Chinese as Tiankeng, or "Heavenly pit." At 630 feet deep, the sinkhole would hide the Washington Monument and then some. The bottom of the pit holds an ancient forest spanning nearly three football fields in length, with trees towering over 100 feet high. And according to the Chinese government, it is one of 30 enormous sinkholes in the county. The sinkhole was discovered by cave explorers outside Ping'e village in Leye County, South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. A team of explorers descended into the pit, where they found ancient trees and other plant life. Karst is a type of topography, ideal for geological wonders like the sinkhole in Leye County, created by groundwater dissolving the limestone rock beneath the surface. About 13 per cent of China is covered by karst topography, according to NASA, with the Guangxi region being a prime example of its beauty. Karst landscapes vary in size and shape depending on the surrounding climate. In China you have this incredibly visually spectacular karst with enormous sinkholes and giant cave entrances and so forth.

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