Explorers discover world’s largest cave passage in Vietnam

May 1st, 2009 - 1:42 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 1 (ANI): A team of British explorers has claimed to have discovered the world’s largest cave passage in Hang Son Doong, Vietnam.

According to a report in the Telegraph, measuring more than 650 ft high and almost 500 ft wide, Hang Son Doong (Mountain River Cave) is believed to be almost twice the size of the current record holder.

The British team, which was assisted by representatives of the Hanoi University of Science, said that it believes that Hang Son Doong is larger than the Deer Cave in Sarawak, Malaysia, which at more than 100 yards high and 90 yards wide is currently recognized as the world’s largest cave passage.

The expedition involved five days exploring the cave in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in mid-April.

“It is a truly amazing sized cave and one of the most significant discoveries by a British caving team,” said Adam Spillane, a member of the 13-man expedition.

“The complete survey is at present being drawn up but initial estimates show the main passage to be 200 metres (656 ft) high in places and possibly greater in some sections,” he added.

“Much of the passage width is over 100 metres (328 ft) but certain sections are over 150 metres wide (492 ft),” he further added.

According to Spillane, the entrance to the cave was first found by a local man, Ho Khanh, in 1991.

“Khanh has been a guide for the team in many expeditions to the jungle to explore caves and this year he took a team to the cave which had never been entered before by anyone including local jungle men,” he said.

“This was because the entrance which is small by Vietnamese cave standards and emitted a frightful wind and noise which was due to a large underground river,” he added.

The team spent six hours trekking through the jungle to reached the cave.

Climbing down into a large chamber, they had to negotiate two underground rivers before reaching the main passage of the Hang Son Doong.

The team has returned to the UK to analyze its findings. (ANI)

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