June 28, 2022

Scientists discovered the uncharted territory earlier this month

A scientific expedition has led to the discovery of an ancient hidden forest located within a sinkhole in China.

The secret forest was found more than 600 feet inside in a sinkhole that emerged within a section of karst bedrock near a village situated in Leye County, an area within the autonomous region of Guangxi Zhuang.

The sinkhole is said to be one of at least 30 in the country and features three different cave entrances found by the researchers on May 6. In terms of dimensions, the entire network of caverns is said to run for approximately 1,004ft (306m); the sinkhole itself measures at 492ft (150m) wide and has a volume of more than five million cubic metres.

Speaking to Xinhua news agency, Zhang Yuanhai – a senior engineer with the Institute of Karst Geology of China Geological Survey – says the sinkhole, found just outside of Ping’e village in the Luoxi township, contains an incredibly well-preserved and primitive forest with trees stretching as high 130ft (40m) tall.

As you can see below, the images of this naturally formed phenomenon only get more magical and ethereal the longer you look:

While similar once-hidden caves have been found in China and the likes of Mexico and Papua New Guinea, where some areas still remain completely unexplored, not many contain a secret forest at the bottom of a sinkhole.

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Chen Lixin, leader of the Guangxi 702 expedition, told Live Science that he “wouldn’t be surprised to know that there are species found in these caves that have never been reported or described by science until now”.

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