Son Doong, located in Vietnam, is currently the world’s largest cave. In addition to holding that title, this massive cave has a jungle inside, complete with waterfalls. It’s “more than 200 meters wide, 150 meters high, and approx 9 kilometers long, with caverns big enough to fit an entire city street inside them.” Continue reading for a video, more pictures, and additional information.
The team found an underground river running through the first 1.6 miles (2.5 kilometers) of the limestone cavern, as well as giant stalagmites more than 230 feet (70 meters) high. The explorers surveyed Son Doong’s size using laser-based measuring devices. Such modern technology allows caves to be measured to the nearest millimeter, said Andy Eavis, president of the International Union of Speleology, the world caving authority, based in France.
Of more concern to the caving team were the poisonous centipedes that live in Son Doong. The explorers also spotted monkeys entering through the roof of the cave to feed on snails, according to Spillane. “There are a couple of skylights about 300 meters [985 feet] above,” he said. “The monkeys are obviously able to climb in and out.” A biologist will accompany the team on its return visit next year to survey the cave’s subterranean wildlife. Eavis, of the International Union of Speleology, added that there are almost certainly bigger cave passages awaiting discovery around the world.