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The cave so huge it has its own weather system: Explorers discover a lost world with thick cloud and fogs trapped inside.

The cave so huge it has its own weather system: Explorers discover a lost world with thick cloud and fogs trapped inside

Explorers discover a lost world with thick cloud and fogs trapped  inside

  • The cave  system was discovered in the Chongquing province of China by a team of cavers  and photographers
  • Caver  Robbie Shone, from Manchester, said a few of the caves had previously been used  by nitrate miners but had not been properly explored
  • The  network, which includes 'cloud Ladder Hall' measuring around 51,000 metres  squared, has water sources and vegetation of the floor

Adventurers have stumbled  across a cave so enormous that it has its own weather system, complete with  wispy clouds and lingering fog inside vast caverns.

A team of expert cavers  and photographers have been exploring the vast cave system in the Chongquing province of China  and have taken the first-ever photographs of the natural wonder.

They were amazed to  discover the entrance to the hidden Er Wang Dong cave system and were stunned  when they managed to climb inside to see a space so large that it can contain a  cloud.

Scroll down  for video

The view from a small window in the wall of the vast Niubizi Tian Keng in the Er Wang Dong cave system

The view from a small window in the wall of  the vast Niubizi Tian Keng in the Er Wang Dong cave system, where clouds form  inside the huge spaces. Three tiny explorers can be seen negotiating the heavily  vegetated floor

An intrepid cave explorer ascends a rope hanging from the Niubizi Tian Keng. This photograph is one of the first-ever images taken of one of a cave so large it has its own weather system

An intrepid cave explorer ascends a rope  hanging from the Niubizi Tian Keng. This photograph is one of the first-ever  images taken of one of a cave so large it has its own weather system

Photographer and caver  Robbie Shone, from Manchester, was part of a team of 15 explorers on a  month-long expedition that discovered the hidden system.

 

'A few of the caves had  previously been used by nitrate miners, at the areas close to the entrance, but  had never been properly explored before,' he said.

'All the major  passageways were deep underground and had never seen light before.

 

Explorer Duncan Collis (pictured) climbs a thin rope up to a small ledge

Explorer Duncan Collis (pictured) climbs a  thin rope up to a small ledge overlooking the vast floor surface of Niubizi Tian  Keng in the Er Wang Dong cave system. A team of expert cavers have been  exploring the caves in the Chongquing province of China

the tranquil rural village of Ranjiagou falls nearby the hidden natural wonder
A caver stands on the central ridge overlooking the cathedral-like Cloud Ladder Hall, towering up into the fog

The tranquil rural village of Ranjiagou falls  nearby the hidden natural wonder is pictured left, while an intrepid caver  stands on the central ridge overlooking the cathedral-like Cloud Ladder Hall,  where fog conceals the roof hundreds of metres above (right)

American speleologist Erin Lynch struggles to pull her way across a raging torrent of white water, which is the main river in Quankou Dong

American speleologist Erin Lynch struggles to  pull her way across a raging torrent of white water, which is the main river in  Quankou Dong. One of the explorers said they had to be aware of high water  levels inside the caves, especially when it rained heavily on the  surface

'It is always very  special, knowing that you are the first to step foot into a cave or somewhere  where nobody had previously seen, not knowing what you might find and  discover.

'Where else on Earth can  still hold secrets and mysteries of discovery? That's what I love so much about  exploring.

Mr Shones was  particularly excited about the cave network's interior weather  system.

The spectacular beddings in the roof of Quankou

The spectacular beddings in the roof of  Quankou. Photographer and caver Robbie Shone, from Manchester, was part of a  team of 15 explorers on a month-long expedition who stumbled across the natural  wonder

The underground camp in Sang Wang Dong is cosy and warm, according to the cavers

The underground camp in Sang Wang Dong is cosy  and warm, according to the cavers. Hot food and drink recharge weary and tired  explorers who sleep in either suspended hammocks or on roll mats on the floor,  before venturing out into the vast surroundings

American speleologist Erin Lynch peers down over her shoulder into a giant void of cloud

American speleologist Erin Lynch peers down  over her shoulder into a giant void of cloud.The floor is over 240m below and  although it cant be seen due to the thick cloud that lingers around her, the  echo that reverberates several seconds later reminds her of the volume of empty  space and her lofty location

'I had never seen  anything quite like the inside cloud ladder before,' he said.

'Thick cloud and fogs  hangs in the upper half of the cave, where it gets trapped and unable to escape  through the small passage in the roof, 250m above the ground.

'It reminded me of being  in an abandoned slate quarrying North Wales in bad weather.

The cave system  discovered is not the only one with clouds inside, as humidity rises inside the  caverns into colder air to form clouds inside the giant, enclosed spaces.

Large stalagmites at the foot of a giant ascending ramp to another level of development

Large stalagmites at the foot of a giant  ascending ramp to another level of development in San Wang Dong create a  spectacle mid-way through a section of cave called Crusty Duvets

A giant calcite stalactite boss, dwarfs team member Matt Ryan as he looks up at the giant geological feature

A giant calcite stalactite boss, dwarfs team  member Matt Ryan as he looks up at the giant geological feature

The network, includes  'Cloud Ladder Hall' which itself  measures around 51,000 metres squared,  while there are rivers and  vegetation on the floor of some of its huge caverns.

'Most caves are either  accessed by large walking entrance, some require a long deep swim, other may be  very vertical in nature where you need ropes to abseil down the walls deep into  the caves.

'We had to be aware of  high water levels inside the caves, especially when it rained heavily on the  surface.

'The drainage catchment  to these caves is massive and soon the caves can be extremely dangerous and  impassable,' he added.

One team member said it reminded him of being in an abandoned slate quarrying North Wales in bad weather

Duncan Collis and Erin Lynch walk through a  section of cave in San Wang Dong called The Sea of Tranquility. Here remains of  old Nitrate mining cover the floor in forms of harths - pits and unwanted spoil.  One team member said it reminded him of being in an abandoned slate quarrying  North Wales in bad weather

An explorer scales the rope up a vertical section of cave known as a pit in Xinu Attic

An explorer scales the rope up a vertical  section of cave known as a pit in Xinu Attic

Crystal clear pools and slow moving streams make it easier to explore Quankou Dongs

Crystal clear pools and slow moving streams  make it easier to explore Quankou Dongs main river passage in the huge network  of caves that

 

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Comment by Besimi on July 15, 2014 at 12:34am

http://youtu.be/rlap02iOOwE   ~Native American Love...

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Comment by Besimi on July 15, 2014 at 12:33am

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