Explore Son Doong Cave, the Largest Cave in the Globe.

Son Doong is known to be the largest cave in the world which is considered one of the biggest caves in Vietnam it was founded by Ho Khanh, who was a Phong Nha jungle man in 1990. And in the year 2009, Hang Son Doong cave was officially been explored by the government and measured by the British Vietnam Cave Expedition team. Then it was announced as the world’s largest natural cave with a volume of 8.5 million m3. The interesting fact is the son Doong cave was the largest natural limestone cave on the planet in the same year.

Well, sometimes people mistook Son Doong cave, and think that the world’s longest-known cave system is Mammoth cave, which is located in Mammoth Cave National Park and is the largest cave passage. Let’s understand what made this cave the longest cave and dig into the history of the cave.

Let’s start with the Origin of the name Son Doong. Well. The pattern that used to follow this was whoever found the cave will name it. Therefore, this time, this cave is known as Son Doong which means (son means mountain and Doong is the name of the valley) or also means the cave in the limestone with an understood river flowing through. There are some unique features of Son Doong cave.

Well, the cave has a total length of nearly 9km long and the volume is up to 38.5 million cubic meters, which makes this cave the largest natural cave on the planet. The Hang Son Doong cave is almost 5 times larger than the Deer cave in Malaysia, which was said to be the largest natural cave previously before the Hang Son Doong was discovered with 0.5 million cubic meters of volume. Furthermore, this cave has a unique hidden underground world inside the cave itself, and also it has many complex giant stalactites, and primeval rainforests growing inside the cave. Even more, the cave has its own ecosystem, weather or a mysterious underground river that it has yet discovered to the end of it. People who visited the cave said that the Hang Son Doong Cave is like another world.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that anyone lived in Son Doong in the past times and all the entrances and exits involve near-vertical descents of at least 85 m using technical equipment. The cave 5000-year-old stone axe was discovered in a nearby cave, which suggests that Son Doong’s relative inaccessibility might indeed have prevented the prehistoric explorers.

Also Visit : The Lonar Crater in Maharashtra is a Cosmic Wonder

However, the cave is also rich in other forms of life. the researchers have found monkeys, snails, and other living organisms including snakes, rats, flying foxes, squirrels, birds, and bats are present in the cave. Even the team has discovered seven new species of fish, spiders, scorpions, shrimp, woodlice, and plankton and all of them are completely white and without eyes, the evolutionary consequences of existing in complete darkness.

Within its depths are the world’s largest stalagmites and a jungle with trees up to 50m high ‘but the cave’s own weather system can make clouds that are spectacular but cut down the visibility. The team says, there is nowhere like this place anywhere in the world, it is not just the size though it does matter but the variety of unusual and amazing locations itself in the cave, such as swimming pools in the dark and 400-million-year-old fossils.

At the cave, approximately 500,000 visitors came to explore the cave every year. If we talk about the Geology and geomorphology of the cave then it is located in the oldest and largest limestone massif in Southeast Asia with more than 400 million years. Well, as per the research, the limestone was formed from 2 sources which are chemical and biological. The Chemical limestone is made up of the precipitation of CaCO3 from Ca (HaCO3)2 solution in oceans’ water. Other is bio limestone, also called biotic which was formed mainly from the skeleton and shells of organisms with CaCO3 composition. So, these types of snails, shells, and most corals would have been made up of limestone. Due to the movements of the earth’s crust continuously, the layers of sediment rose and formed the limestone mountains as we are seeing them today. Son Doong cave has formed about approximately 2-3 million years ago along with a fault of the Truong Son Range, in the present times, the Thuong River now flows through Son Doong Cave.

On further research, it is found that it dissolved carbon dioxide which makes rain and river weakly acidic, which allows the water to dissolve into the limestone, eroding it over millions of years. The tropical rainfall, those wide fault lines, and thick limestone beds might have enabled the creation of a huge tunnel beneath the mountains. Even there were some places that are too thin causing collapses and forming the dolines and resulting in the creation of this stunning cave.

Son Doong Cave is the world’s longest cave that can accommodate skyscrapers also, there are wide sections enough for a Boeing to fly across the area and besides streams, waterfalls, and a primeval forest. Being the longest Son Doong cave, it has its own weather system, the temperature is around 22 to 25 degrees Celsius during the summer season and 15 to 20 degrees Celsius during the winter season. But it is always lower than outside from 8 to 12 degrees Celsius in the summer due to the effect of lack of sunlight, damp atmosphere, and difference in air pressure which causes airflow.

How to reach? There are 3 ways to reach the cave.

By Air-The nearest airport is Saigon International or a domestic airline like Vietnam Airlines from Saigon to Dong Hoi.

By Train- if anyone wants to go by train then a Train from Hanoi to Dong Hoi, takes about 10 hours.

By Road-a Road trip is quite good, the major city of Hanoi is connected well by buses. So, one can take the buses from Hanoi and reach there.

Related Posts

1 of 284