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Worlds Largest Cave Passage - Vietnam Mammoth Cavern

02 March 2011
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A giant cave column has been discovered in Vietnam in which a skyscraper could fit too. A half-mile block of 40-story buildings could fit inside this lit stretch of Hang Son Doong, which may be the world's biggest subterranean passage.

World's Largest Cave Passage | Vietnam Mammoth Cavern

Going underground, expedition members enter Hang En, a cave tunneled out by the Rao Thuong River. Dwindling to a series of ponds during the dry months, the river can rise almost 300 feet during the flood season, covering the rocks where cavers stand. Like a petrified waterfall, a cascade of fluted limestone, greened by algae, stops awestruck cavers in their tracks.

In the dry season, from November to April, a caver can safely explore Hang Ken, with its shallow pools. But with the onset of the monsoon, the underground river swells and floods the passages, making the cave impassable. The trickiest challenge for the expedition team was to find a way over the Great Wall of Vietnam, an overhanging mass of flow-stone that blocked the way deep inside Hang Son Doong. Climbing specialists "Sweeny" Sewell and Howard Clarke work on anchoring bolts to the slippery, porous rock to support the weight of climbers using ropes. Once over the wall, the expedition team discovered a second entrance into the cave.

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