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Researchers Uncover Secrets In A Sinkhole That Made The Record Books


Sinkholes are dangerous. Some are man-made, and some are Mother Nature’s doing. A sinkhole can swallow up everything in its path. When a sinkhole occurred in a remote mountain range, a team of scientists was sent to explore the hole. These researchers uncover secrets hidden in giant sinkhole, and they make the record books. They knew right away that the exploration mission wasn’t going to be easy. Nothing about it would be. Getting to the sinkhole would be time-consuming. Getting into the hole would be dangerous. Even getting out of the sinkhole would be tough. This didn’t put the group off, however. They knew that this entrance to another world would be amazing and it would be more than worth the trouble. Being able to explore something so incredible was the opportunity of a lifetime.

A Karst Environment

A karst environment is formed when water-soluble erode over millions of years. If there is a lack of drainage, it allows underground water to seep out of the bedrock. When this happens, a karst is formed which results in a sinkhole. This is what happened in Fengshan County, China.

The Area

The team’s special mission took them to the south of central China in the country’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which is on the border of Vietnam. The area is naturally beautiful. There are ricers intersected with chains of mountains. It is really a sight to see. Some of the mountains jut out and look like they belong on another planet. The area around the sinkhole was amazing. This showed the researchers that what they would find in the hole would be even more incredible.

The Team

On October 4, 2018, a team of 19 scientists set out on a four-day journey through the mountains of Fengshan County. The members of the team came from two organizations. The first was the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences Institute of Karst Geology. The team was led by Zhang Yhuanhai. The second team was from the International Cave Association, which was led by Andy Evans. The area of the sinkhole was remote. The team had to travel for days to reach the area. They understood that once they got there, things were going to get even more dangerous than the trek out there.

A Dangerous Mission

The team needed harnesses, jumpsuits, and climbing gear to get down into the sinkhole. They had no idea what they were going to find down there because the area was uncharted. They were going to have a chance to document their findings and share them with the world. One by one, they prepared to descend into the dark and mysterious tunnel.

Going Down

After the explorers anchored their repelling rope on the edge of the lip of the sinkhole. One by one, they lowered themselves into the sinkhole. They went down hundreds of feet into the cave. On the way down, they saw lush vegetation. They had to use just one rope to avoid risking the rock around the cave fracturing even more.

Networks Of Rivers

Inside the sinkhole is a large network of rivers. They also found several small pools of water. They are responsible for shaping the topography in the region. Each of them drains into the Panyang River. A calculated 3D scan showed the sinkhole was made up of caves that covered 236 million cubic feet. The discovery was amazing.

Hong Kong Team

It turned out that this team wasn’t the first to discover the sinkhole. A team from Hong Kong beat them to it. They named it the Hong Kong Haiting Hall. They did some exploring in the sinkhole before the other team arrived.

Prehistoric Caves

It didn’t matter who discovered the caves first. It was all about what was found. This sinkhole was so amazing because what was in the hole had never been seen by human eyes. Many of the researchers say that exploring the cave was similar to finding a fossil. An area that was hidden for so long finally being discovered was truly amazing.

Other Sinkholes

This wasn’t the first sinkhole to excite researchers. It also won’t be the last. In Guangxi Region of China, a traffic camera caught a sinkhole o[pening up in the middle of the road. It could have killed many people. A bus carrying 20 passengers could have gone into the sinkhole. Fortunately, they passed by it with just a few seconds to spare. Sinkholes are dangerous and even deadly, but they are windows to a world that we have never seen before. Sinkholes become significant issues when they open up in residential areas, and they swallow up cars and homes. Unfortunately, we cannot control what Mother Nature does.

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