A gaping 317-yard-deep crater in a mountainous part of Hubei province has produced a unique ecosystem of trees, plants and animals.
It is a botanical delight and given its remote location, it can only be accessed via a lowered rope ladder. The humid environment has led to its development of a surprisingly lush, self-contained ecosystem largely untouched by man.
It was naturally formed as a result of the region’s karst processes, in which the humid climate of the county triggered the chemical dissolution of the carbonate landscape. Although the sinkhole was discovered decades ago, only a handful of people have ever plumbed its difficult-to-reach depths. The limestone cavity is estimated to cover a depth of over 950 feet with a ground area of approximately 16.47 acres.