The Biggest Cave in the World Is Much Bigger Than We Thought

A recent discovery revealed Son Doong is 1.6 million cubic meters bigger than previously thought

The biggest cave in the world just got bigger.
The biggest cave in the world just got bigger.
Bruno van der Kraan/ Unsplash
By Kayla Kibbe / May 20, 2019 10:58 am

It turns out the earth may still have plenty of secrets to uncover.

Discoveries made during a recent expedition in Vietnam have revealed that world’s largest cave, Son Doong is even larger than previously thought, CNN reported.

The same trio of British divers who aided in the rescue of the trapped soccer team in Thailand last year are behind the recent discovery, which took place last month in central Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

The divers Jason Mallinson, Rick Stanton and Chris Jewell discovered a new underwater tunnel connecting Son Doong to another large cave called Hang Thung. The connection to Hang Thung adds an additional 1.6 million cubic meters in volume to Son Doong’s already massive 38.5 million cubic meters.

“It would be like someone found a lump on top of Mount Everest, making it another 1,000 meters higher,” said Howard Limbert, technical advisor of the Quang Binh-based Oxalis adventure tour company and one of the cave experts who helped organize the dive. “Any cave in the world will be able to fit comfortably inside Son Dong when it’s connected — it’s just outrageous in size,” he told CNN.

Son Doong was first discovered by a Vietnam resident who accidentally stumbled upon the cave back in 1990. It took him nearly 20 years to relocate the cave, which researchers first explored in 2009.

The divers plan to return to the cave again next April, which is reportedly the best time of year to explore thanks to low water levels and and better than usual visibility.

“I think it’s incredible that something as important as the world’s largest cave is still being explored and better understood,” said Limbert. “No one had ever set foot inside Son Doong until 2009 … and this latest discovery shows there are still an awful lot of things to uncover on this planet. It’s really exciting.”

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