The Largest Caves in the World
Vietnam’s Hang Son Doong cave is the largest caves in the world, with caverns big enough to fit an entire city street inside them. The largest caves in the world ever discovered is in the Son Doong Cave in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. Explored by joint Vietnamese-British cave scientists of the British Cave Research Association, it is 4.6 km (2.9 mi) in length, 80 m (260 ft) high and wide over most of its length, but over 140 m (460 ft) high and wide for part of its length.
The cave was, amazingly enough, only discovered twenty years ago, and is just now being properly surveyed. National Geographichas a fascinating longer piece on the recent explorations of the cave, but the real highlight has to be the nearly two dozen amazing photographs from inside the cave.
This tiny jungle, nicknamed the “Garden of Edam”, formed underneath a collapsed roof of the largest caves in the world, which allowed first light and then vegetation to make its way inside the cave.
The other of the largest caves in the world ever discovered is the Sarawak Chamber, in the Gunung Mulu National Park (Miri, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia), a sloping, boulder strewn chamber with an area of approximately 700 by 400 metres (2,297 by 1,312 ft) and a height of 80 metres (260 ft). The nearby Clearwater Cave System is believed to be the world’s largest cave by volume, with a calculated volume of 30,347,540 m3.
A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. The term applies to natural cavities some part of which is in total darkness. The word cave also includes smaller spaces like rock shelters, sea caves, and grottos. Today, Vietnam’s Hang Son Doong cave and Sarawak Chamber is the largest caves in the world.