Ancient forest found at the bottom of a huge Chinese sinkhole that could harbor new species

Scientists say they wouldn’t be surprised to discover there are species found in caves at the site in southern China that have never been reported or described before

The bottom of the sinkhole
A vast undiscovered jungle world has been discovered deep in a hole in the ground in China

A primitive forest has been discovered at the bottom of a huge sinkhole in China that may contain as yet unidentified plants and animals.

The Guardian has reported that cavers in the Guangxi region in the south of the country have found the sinkhole, which contained an ancient forest with trees up to 40 meters tall.

The site is one of Leye County’s 30 sinkholes and is the largest at 306 meters (1,004 ft) long, 150 meters (490 ft) wide and 192 meters (630 ft) deep.

Zhang Yuanhai, a senior engineer at the China Geological Survey Institute of Karst Geology, told state-run Xinhua News Agency that the site has three caves in its walls and a primitive forest on the ground.

Scientists descended into the sinkhole to discover the pristine jungle below



Chen Lixin, who led the expedition team, said that in addition to the trees, there was thick undergrowth on the ground up to his shoulders.

“It would not surprise me to know that there are species in these caves that science has never reported or described before,” he is quoted as saying.

The forest may contain species of trees and plants that have not yet been discovered after being found by cavers



The area is known as a karst landscape formed mainly by the dissolution of bedrock by groundwater, creating sinkholes, streams, caves, springs and other distinctive features.

This reportedly means dramatic sinkholes and caves are created throughout the area. This one is rare though as it is deep but shaped to let in enough light meaning the big trees can grow.

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Fry Electronics Team

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