Infinite Cave in Vietnam

January 12, 2011


Photographer: Carsten Peter/©National Geographic Magazine,
Summary Author: Mark Jenkins/©National Geographic Magazine; Jim FosterJanuary 2011 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The amazing photo featured above was taken in a huge cavern complex within the bowels of central Vietnam – in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park. During the spring of 2009, a team of spelunkers began exploring a mountain river cave in Vietnam and discovered a passage carved by a subterranean river millions of years ago. Like a castle on a knoll, a limestone formation shines beneath a skylight in Hang Sơn Đoòng cave. A monsoon storm had just filled the pool in the foreground, signaling that exploring season was ending. Referred to as the "infinite cave" this underground labyrinth is more than 2.5 mi long (4.0 km). Photo taken in May 2009. For more about this incredible cave, see the January 2011 issue of National Geographic Magazine. See also tomorrow’s Earth Science Picture of the Day (Carlsbad Cavern).