Gargantuan Uncharted-Style Lost Cave Undergoing Survey

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Gargantuan Uncharted-Style Lost Cave Undergoing Survey

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In a remote area of Vietnam lies a massive cave that could house a city block, and probably holds some ancient secret Nathan Drake is looking for.

There's a hidden world in Vietnam's Annamite Mountains called Hang Son Doong that sounds like it could be a location in an Indiana Jones film or Uncharted game. The multi-million year old cave has barely been explored and is one of the largest in the world.

So large, in fact, that you could park a 747 inside of one of its areas, and its 300-foot-wide, over 600-foot-tall passage could house a skyscraper. Han Son Doong, which translates to "mountain river cave," even contains its own jungle of 100-foot-tall trees and "wispy clouds" can be seen near its ceiling. National Geographic describes it as thus:

The light beaming from above reveals a tower of calcite on the cave floor that is more than 200 feet tall, smothered by ferns, palms, and other jungle plants. Stalactites hang around the edges of the massive skylight like petrified icicles. Vines dangle hundreds of feet from the surface; swifts are diving and cutting in the brilliant column of sunshine. The tableau could have been created by an artist imagining how the world looked millions of years ago.

National Geographic followed the second expedition to ever enter the massive cave, with the first taking place in just 2009. The entrance would have remained secret if not for a local that discovered it as a child, but forgot about it for years until a recent rediscovery.

Han Son Doong is estimated to have formed 2 to 5 million years ago, and is just one of many caves still not surveyed in Vietnam's Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. In the second expedition, the cave's explorers were able to surmount the 200-foot-tall wall of mud that ended their first effort make it through, but they say there is still much work to be done until they're done with the 2.5 mile Han Son Doong. The cave is an explorer's dream, and gives legitimacy to the secret worlds found in games like Uncharted 2. It likely doesn't house the tree of life though, so don't become a violent warlord on its account.

Check out National Geographic's photo gallery of the incredible Han Son Doong here.

Source: National Geographic, via io9

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Wow, that is pretty incredible. Who knows what kind of life is in there, undiscovered insects or animals. I'm happy that we still haven't found everything out on this planet, here's to many more hidden caves to be found!

That looks cool. I'd like to visit....probably end up breaking something valuable though.

Wonder if there's any unexpected life in there?

You never know :)

Excuse my ignorance...but what a 747?

OT: I love stories like this, makes us realise how ignorant we are as humans :P

I hope they remember to put down lots of torches and watch out for creepers.

epikAXE:
Excuse my ignorance...but what a 747?

OT: I love stories like this, makes us realise how ignorant we are as humans :P

Its the standard passenger airplane, like what you fly in when you travel.

I saw this in national geographic itself. Never thought Id want to go to Vietnam, but here this is, so scratch that!

Now THAT would be a documentary I'd watch.

epikAXE:
Excuse my ignorance...but what a 747?

Fairly certain he means a Boeing 747. It's a giant airplane.

Azure-Supernova:
Wow, that is pretty incredible. Who knows what kind of life is in there, undiscovered insects or animals. I'm happy that we still haven't found everything out on this planet, here's to many more hidden caves to be found!

That was my first thought too. This could be an extremely unique biome seperated from the rest of the area.

Little do we know they will soon disturb a seal. Then we will be overrun by the imprisoned cannibal mutants, demons, or maybe find out Drow were not made up and they will slowly rise to enslave our civilization.

I mean let's be honest, huge underground caverns like this aren't just a staple of exploration-adventure fiction, they are a horror staple too!

Maybe this is like the caves from "Descent".

Or maybe we will see the release of the flying Polyps.

Or maybe we will see ancient spores waft out starting the zombie apocolypse!

Plenty to "look forward to" for us horror fans.

Personally I think that local had his brain altered which is why he "forgot" for so long, so humanity would never uncover the dark secrets we are about to unleash! Sadly it didn't take permanantly. <heads off to make some popcorn in preparation of watching the carnage on the news>

That's pretty badass.

I hope monsters live there, we need us some monsters.

DINOSAURS!!!!

YAY WW3 - the best one, infact!

After looking at that thing, all I can think is, "It looks like a level of Halo! :O"

Still, I kinda want to see it, if nothing else than to go spelunking without any claustrophobia.

...Great, now bring on the undead intelligent dinosaurs that want nothing more than to rape humanity in its ass.

Sarcasm aside, this looks promising. Lets hope they can find SOMETHING useful in Vietnam.

Toasty Virus:
That's pretty badass.

I hope monsters live there, we need us some monsters.

We need them.
I don't think you guys understand how much I crave monsters in my life.

Maybe Dinosaurs, they're bad ass - Or like..some crazy RPG stuff, you know.

:D reminds me of minecraft

That is purely amaaaaaazzing

I seen the images from the National Geographic website a couple of weeks ago. Amazing stuff.

I WANT IT. I WANT IT FOR MY OWN.

Holy fuck. A skyscraper? Man, I have to start planning out my empire, and fast.

Bet it has a fuckload of diamond and obsidian >_>.

Ahh Minecraft...*ahem*.

Seriously though, that is breathtaking, I plan on visiting Vietnam sometime, such a beautiful looking place and it would be truly epic if you could go to this cave.

I want to see monsters in that cave!

epikAXE:
Excuse my ignorance...but what a 747?

I know that you have previously been quoted on the matter, but allow me to answer your question with a picture.

I thought that was the cave this thread would be referring to. I haven't read the National Geographic article yet, but it's on my to-do list.

Nathan Drake or...no, definitely Indiana Jones

Tom Goldman:
It likely doesn't house the tree of life though, so don't become a violent warlord on its account.

Dude when I break into supervillany, THIS will be the sight of my underground fortress.
That first photo on the Nation Geographic website is just made of win.

That looks beautiful. Hope they get some extremely detailed shots of it. Maybe for the next Planet Earth.

Sodoff:
DINOSAURS!!!!

£50 says this is what they find!
Awesome discovery is bloody awesome!

Now to go re-create it in Minecraft....

What an incredibly vast and varied world we live in when we can discover and subsequently lose a giant hole in the earth.

I'm happy to here stuff like this. It holds true to the idea that we still haven't found everything on this small planet of ours.

Tom Goldman:
The entrance would have remained secret if not for a local that discovered it as a child, but forgot about it for years until a recent rediscovery.

Wow, if a giant prehistoric cave is something that you can just forget about like that, Vietnam must be the MOST EXCITING PLACE ON EARTH!!

Considering theres sunbeams going down into the cave and the fact that its in a jungle, I hope they've marked the holes. That being said, I'd love to go there.

I long for the day that Minecraft can randomly create caves as realistic and amazing as that.

I want to go in it, on a epic adventure of mystery and discovery.

With the description all I can't think of is House of leaves.
Espeically how the guy just rememberd it.

"Oh hey there's a large cave here and oh dear the walls seem to be moving."

The first thing I thought when I read the National Geographic article was "this would make a fun level in a game like Uncharted."

This is what I love hearing about. thing's on this big blue planet that we haven't seen or explored yet. I feel like it's the Colonial era all over again.

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