Er Wang Dong Facts
- The breathtaking wonder of Nature that man calls Er Wang Dong represents an incredible marvel of geology only recently discovered. Perhaps even more amazingly, prior to the year 2012, the true extent of this staggering site remained unknown.
- Now that it’s known, however, it’s difficult for most individuals to believe. That holds true due to the fact that this natural marvel developed into a cave system whose extent remains impossible to believe. That’s true despite its having a long history of use.
- Although nitrate miners have long used a few of the smaller surface caves, no one realized the marvels that lay further down. All this changed, however, much to the amazement of the world, a few years ago. It did so due to the efforts of one team.
- At that time, a team of intrepid explorers finally undertook the task of investigating the truly gargantuan system in the year 2012. Remarkably, in fact, these brave individuals spent more than a month within the fabulous cave system, doing just that.
- Many tunnels within Er Wang Dong still remain a mystery to explorers, however, despite the efforts of this group. That fact’s not surprising, though, considering its astounding expanse. So far, the explored tunnel length has reached 138,251 ft (42,139 m).
- Nature did not limit its wonders to just size, though, however impressive that statistic is. That’s because a gargantuan cavern actually exists within its confines. This cavity formed so extensive in size that it actually contains its own weather system.
Er Wang Dong Formation and Geology
The truly magnificent Er Wang Dong formed an incredibly long time ago. Researchers estimate that it formed in what scientists now know as the Ordovician Period. This period lasted a total of nearly 45 million years, beginning roughly 488 million years ago.
The great majority of the walls, floors, and formations have a distinctive nature. These portions formed from comparatively soft native limestone. Long-term erosion by steadily flowing water susequently, and slowly, carved out the incredible caves and tunnels.
This, however, only represented the beginning of the long process of formation. The finishing touches occured later, deposits of sandstone atop the soft limestone subsequently aided in preserving much of the incredible system as we can still see it today.
The next step of its astonishing creation took place within the cave system. That’s because countless stalagmites and stalactites, some of them rather huge, appear throughout the vast stretch of the entire system. The net effect makes for a stunning spectacle.
Er Wang Dong Distinctiveness and Meteorology
The absolutely mind-blowing marvel of Nature that locals named Er Wang Dong formed in what now constitutes the Chongquing province of China, in Asia. Perhaps the most astonishing feature of the breathtaking site, however, remains to be detailed.
That would be the astounding feature that’s known as the Cloud Ladder Hall. This serves as the name of an enormous chamber that literally must be seen to be believed. This visually staggering area formed with a total volume of roughly 549,000 sq ft (51,000 sq m).
To put this in perspective, this measures significantly larger than the area of St. Peters Basilica. To be clear, that includes both the interior and exterior, in the Vatican City. The roof of this astonishing cavern itself additionally measures roughly 820 ft (245 m) in height.
The height of the cavern and the amount of moisture inside has an incredible effect. Combined, these allow clouds to form near the ceiling. The awesomeness of Nature did not stop there. The floor of the gargantuan cavern remains covered with lush vegetation.
As if all this wasn’t enough, Er Wang Dong also has yet another marvel to astound visitors. In fact, it contains a modest-sized underground river, as well as a relatively large sinkhole. Quite understandably, further explorations of this fabulous location are in planning.