Discovered in China, the “Heavenly Pits” sinkhole is located 630 feet below the surface.

A spectacular old forest has been found 630 feet below the surface of a sinkhole in China’s Leye-Fengshan World Geopark. This geopark is located in Guangxi, China.

UNESCO has awarded the Zhuang Autonomous Area recognition for its distinctive geological features.

The geopark contains a variety of karst formations, including caves, natural bridges, and vast cave systems. It is primarily sedimentary and made up of Devonian to Permian carbonate rocks. Intriguing geological characteristics found there include poljes, karst springs, karst windows (tiankengs), natural bridges, enormous cave chambers, and speleothems. It also has high karst peak clusters (fengcong).

In the geopark, a new sinkhole that is almost 1,000 feet long, 490 feet wide, and nearly 630 feet deep was discovered by scientists in May 2022. Several old trees and plants were found inside this enormous sinkhole, some of which may have been previously unidentified species.

Within this enormous sinkhole, which offers a special habitat for diverse plant and animal species, the researchers discovered three cave openings. The expedition’s leader, Chen Lixin, claims that there may be species in these caves that have not yet been identified by scientists.

Location, temperature, and other variables greatly affect how karst landscapes, which are characterized by sinkholes and caves, seem. In the southern part of China, where this geopark is located, the karst terrain is particularly impressive, with enormous sinkholes and expansive cave entrances. On the other hand, smaller, less obvious sinkholes and cave entrances may be present in karst rocks found in other parts of the world.

The disintegration of bedrock by slightly acidic precipitation plays a role in sinkhole formation in karst terrain. As rainwater seeps through the soil, it picks up carbon dioxide and becomes more acidic. Then, as this acidic water seeps through bedrock fissures, it progressively hollows out tunnels and chambers. Sinkholes are produced when the surrounding rock collapses when these subsurface voids get big enough.

The 30th recorded opening in the region, including the recently discovered sinkhole, showcases the geological marvels of China’s karst terrain. The largest sinkhole in the world, Xiaozhai Tiankeng, is also located in China. It is 2,100 feet deep, 2,000 feet long, and 1,760 feet broad, and it has a stream flowing through it, evoking a scene from the hit video game Minecraft.

The discovery of this forest inside the sinkhole brings to light the undiscovered natural beauty of our world and the value of protecting these distinctive geological formations.

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