Er Wang Dong Facts
- The breathtaking wonder of Nature that man calls Er Wang Dong represents an incredible marvel of geology only recently discovered. Furthermore, prior to the year 2012, the true extent of this staggering site remained unknown. Now that it’s known, however, it’s difficult to believe.
- First of all, this natural marvel developed into a cave system whose extent remains almost impossible to believe. This holds 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.
- However, all this changed, to the amazement of the world, a few years ago. A team of intrepid explorers finally undertook the task of investigating the truly gargantuan system in 2012. In fact, these individuals spent more than a month within the cave system, doing just that.
- Nevertheless, many tunnels within Er Wang Dong still remain a mystery to explorers. So far, the total explored tunnel length has reached 138,251 ft (42,139 m). Finally, a cavern actually exists within its confines that formed so huge that it actually contains its own weather system.
Er Wang Dong Formation and Geology
The truly magnificent Er Wang Dong formed long ago. That’s due to the fact that it formed in what scientists call the Ordovician Period. This period lasted a total of nearly 45 million years, beginning roughly 488 million years ago.
Furthermore, the great majority of the walls, floors, and formations formed from comparatively soft native limestone. Subsequently, long-term erosion by steadily flowing water slowly carved out the incredible caves and tunnels.
This, however, only represented the beginning of the long process of formation. Later deposits of sandstone atop the soft limestone subsequently aided in preserving much of the incredible system as can still we see it today.
Finally, the next step 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 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 site, however, remains to be mentioned. That would be what’s known as the Cloud Ladder Hall. This serves as the name of an enormous chamber 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, both interior and exterior, in the Vatican City. Futher, the roof of this astonishing cavern measures roughly 820 ft (245 m) high. The height of the cavern and the amount of moisture inside has an incredible effect. Combined, these actually allow clouds to form near the ceiling.
Nevertheless, the awesomeness of Nature did not stop there. The floor of the gargantuan cavern remains covered with lush vegetation. 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.