The world has been practically explored in its entirety; Antarctica is already being studied, we are going deeper and deeper into the ocean, the highest peaks have already been reached. However, there are still corners that remain a mystery. That is the case of the “new world” discovered by Chinese scientists.
Scientists have found a whole “new world” south of China inside a huge sinkhole. It is about 230 meters deep and has very tall and ancient trees, dense undergrowth and, most likely, it also has life unknown to science.
A new world?
The finding has surprised the team of cavers who were exploring the sinkhole, who say they compare it to a totally unexplored world .
The Chinese team went down to its depths on May 6, finding 3 entrances to caves in the abyss that exceeds 300 meters long and 150 meters wide .
Chen Lixin, leader of the expedition, stated that he would not be surprised if unknown species existed within the caves.
A sinkhole as large as this one in the Guangxi Autonomous Region is called “tiankeng,” a name that means “heavenly well” in Mandarin.
Suddenly opening sinkholes in the ground are a feature of karst topography , an endemic part of the local landscape.
Bedrock dissolves as rainwater passes through the ground, becoming more acidic with carbon dioxide during its journey.
Gradually, the acidic water carves out ever-widening tunnels in the bedrock that transform into cave-like chambers. Afterward, the ground just falls away, opening up the sinkhole.
Different factors such as local climate or geology affect how a karst appears. This was explained by George Veni , an international expert on caves, in addition to being the executive director of the National Institute of Cave and Karst Research in the United States.
This specific sinkhole is not the only “new world.” There is a cave in West Texas that has plenty of tropical ferns, thanks to migratory bats that carry fern spores with them from South and Central America.
The largest in the world and a great mystery
In the United States, 25% of the land is karst, carved by water, or pseudokarst, carved by volcanoes or wind. About 20% of the world’s land mass is made up of karst landscape, yet China has the world’s largest sinkhole.
Discovered in 1994, an underground river in a forest hollowed out this “double-nested” sinkhole and created a 600-meter waterfall inside it. China’s spectacular karst formations earned the region a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
Visitors can also find rock pillars and natural bridges.
All scientists agree that the China sinkhole is something never seen before and is a new world under the Earth.
For hundreds of years, there has been a belief that there is another world below the surface. The scientific community maintains that the Earth is an unbroken series of layers and liquid magma surrounding a hot, dense core made mostly of iron and nickel.
However, not everyone is convinced. In the 17th century, some of the leading minds in science proposed the hollow Earth theory . Even today, this hypothesis has defenders who try to prove it with books, web pages and even organized expeditions.
At the moment, we just have to wait for more research on this new world found in China. In addition to being prepared in case new species are discovered.