Interesting Photo of the Day: Rare View of the World’s Largest Cave

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:

son doong vietnam cave cavern

Photo by Carsten Peter. (Via Imgur. Click to see larger size.)

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.”

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