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World’s Longest Cave Passage Found in Vietnam

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Charles Simmins – Tue Jan 4, 4:42 pm ET

The discovery and further exploration of a cave system in Vietnam has resulted in the discovery of the world’s longest cave. The region has long been known to contain caves and the locals knew of this one. The Son Doong cave has just received international attention after an expedition spent some time in and around it.

British Cave Research Association sponsored the expedition to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam. It is a World Heritage Site and home to one of the world’s largest karst formations. This type of rock is perfect for caves created by water flow.

The first expedition took place in April 2009 and another returned in 2010. Explorers were able to walk 2.8 miles into the Son Doong cave, along a river for part of the way. They were stymied by a slick wall but in 2010 succeeded in climbing the hundreds of feet to the top. Near the end of their long trek through the passage they discovered a pool containing monstrous cave pearls, a water and rock creation usually marble sized. These were the size of baseballs.