Sinkhole in China

A giant sinkhole has been discovered in south China. Image via Twitter @friend7code

Great hole of China: Forest found inside 192-metre deep sinkhole [watch]

Scientists believe a giant sinkhole with tall forest trees found in China could contain undiscovered plant and animal species.

Sinkhole in China

A giant sinkhole has been discovered in south China. Image via Twitter @friend7code

Cave explorers in the Guangxi region of southern China have reportedly found a forest at the bottom of a giant sinkhole.

According to scientists who descended into its depths on May 6, the hole – which is 306 metres long, 150 metres wide, 192 metres deep and has trees that are up to 40 metres tall – could contain undiscovered plant and animal species.

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As per Xinhua News, Zhang Yuanhai, a senior engineer at the Institute of Karst Geology of China Geological Survey, said the sinkhole can be categorized as a large sinkhole. Among 30 sinkholes in Leye County, this is the largest.

Scientists trekked for several hours inside the sinkhole to try and figure out what was inside. Chen Lixin, who led the expedition team, said that there was dense undergrowth on the floor that came up to his shoulders.

“I 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,” Lixin said.


Sinkholes are common in southern China due to the nature of the landscape. The area is home to karst topography, a landscape prone to dramatic sinkholes and otherworldly caves, George Veni, the executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) in the U.S, told Live Science.

“Because of local differences in geology, climate, and other factors, the way karst appears at the surface can be dramatically different.

“So in China, you have this incredibly visually spectacular karst with enormous sinkholes and giant cave entrances and so forth. In other parts of the world, you walk out on the karst, and you really don’t notice anything. Sinkholes might be quite subdued, only a meter or two in diameter. Cave entrances might be very small, so you have to squeeze your way into them,” he explained.

A video of the giant sinkhole was posted to Twitter, watch below: