Marble caves

Las Cuevas de Mármol (The Marble Caves) sit in the middle of General Carrera Lake, which lies between Chile and Argentina. The tunnels and caves are only reachable by boat. The swooping arches have been formed by more than 6,000 years of water lapping against the rock, and the waters change color depending on the time of year.
Reblogged from National Geographic

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Blue ice

Pressurized ice, not privy to direct sunlight, sparkles a luminous blue deep in Breiðamerkurjökull ice cave. The cave is part of Iceland’s Vatnajökull Glacier, one of Europe’s largest ice caps, which began forming 2,500 years ago and sits atop several volcanoes. As a result, ebony often streaks the azure interiors.
Reblogged from National Geographic

A jungle down there

A hiker is dwarfed by the massive proportions of Hang Son Doong, the largest cave in the world, located in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam. It is more than two miles long and, at some places, more than 600 feet high. Where the ceiling has collapsed, allowing sunlight to spill in, vegetation grows heartily.
Reblogged from National Geographic

The largest cave in the world

Recently opened to the public (that is, to individuals who can pay $3,000 plus a flight to Vietnam for a guided adventure tour), Hang Son Doong cave is the largest cave in the world. Guarded by the lush and treacherous jungle of Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park near the Laos border, the cave was first discovered in 1991 by a local man named Ho Khanh; it was later rediscovered by British explorers in 2009.

This rare view of the cave, taken by photographer Carsten Peter, was published in a National Geographic article about the cavern:

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As the meaning of its name (“mountain river cave”) suggests, Son Doong features a raging subterranean river called the Rao Thuong. The cave is a mammoth, stretching for more than 2.5 miles with continuous passages as wide as 300 feet and over 600 feet tall—that’s room enough for 747 planes and skyscrapers, respectively.

“There are longer caves than Hang Son Doong—the Mammoth Cave system in Kentucky, with 367 total miles, holds that record,” wrote Mark Jenkins in the National Geographic article. “There are deeper caves too—Krubera-Voronja, the “crow’s cave,” plunges 7,188 feet in the western Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. But for giant passages, there are few caves that can compare.”

Reblogged from PictureCorrect

The cave inn

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“After two days of trekking and caving, we reached the first camp inside Hang Son Doong [mountain river cave], the world’s largest cave,” writes Your Shot contributor Ryan Deboodt. “The entire way, I was in awe of the scene unfolding in front of me. The atmosphere created by the clouds entering the cave from the first doline (opening in the cave ceiling) was surreal. I couldn’t get over the fact that we would be camping at this most unique location and wanted to capture the feeling of having this at your doorstep.”

The 2.5-mile cave is located in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, near the border with Laos.

Reblogged from National Geographic