Shuanghe Cave in China's Guizhou officially the world's third longest-Xinhua

Shuanghe Cave in China's Guizhou officially the world's third longest

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-09-26 21:50:30

GUIYANG, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Shuanghe Cave, Asia's hitherto longest cave in southwest China's Guizhou Province, has been found to be 409.9 km in length and 912 meters in depth, making it the third longest cave in the world, said researchers.

The latest research results on the cave were released during a press conference Tuesday. This year's cave expedition was conducted by the provincial mountain resources institute, the provincial cave association, and over 30 researchers and explorers from China, France, Italy, and Belgium.

The cave expedition team has also unearthed some paleontological fossils and geological relics. Researchers have thus far found 40 giant panda fossils, the oldest individual living at least 100,000 years ago and the youngest living only a few hundred years ago.

The fossils can help provide a rare sample for the researchers to understand the population genetic evolution history and individual size evolution of giant pandas in the late Pleistocene, said He Wei, the team leader and head of the provincial mountain resources institute.

Previously, the cave was surveyed for 257.4 km in length and 665 meters in depth, based on an international scientific investigation carried out before 2019.

Being the longest dolomite cave with the largest celestine area in the world, Shuanghe Cave has been termed a "karst natural cave museum." Since 1988, international researchers and explorers have conducted 22 scientific investigations on the cave.