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New exit discovered at Kong Collapse in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang cave systems

Thursday, May 28, 2020, 13:35 GMT+7
New exit discovered at Kong Collapse in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang cave systems
Kong Collapse is seen in an aerial photo taken against the backdrop of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam. Photo: Jungle Boss

A team of experts is on a mission to unravel a series of mysteries surrounding the collapse of the world’s highest cave ceiling, located in Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in the north-central Vietnamese province of Quang Binh.

In 1997, members of the British Caving Research Association (BCRA), with support from local residents in Quang Binh Province, discovered a massive cave system with three contiguous chambers, including Hang Ho (Tiger Cave), Hang Over (Over Cave), and Hang Pygmy (Pygmy Cave).

One of the system’s most distinguishing features is a massive doline, or sinkhole, named Kong Collapse due to its resemblance to the skull of the fictional giant gorilla-like monster in the namesake movie franchise.

The explorers from the BCRA discovered Kong Collapse after a twenty-minute swim from Dai A Cave, another grotto in the Phong Nha – Ke Bang cave system.

Previously, locals assumed the collapse could only be entered by repelling through the top opening, thus giving way to its previous title — the Ngo Cut Collapse, literally translated as ‘Dead-End Collapse.’

Kong Collapse’s entrance is seen overhead from the inside the Tiger-Over-Pygmy cave system in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

Kong Collapse’s entrance is seen overhead from the inside the Tiger-Over-Pygmy cave system in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province, Vietnam in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

A team of explorers from Jungle Boss, a Quang Binh-based company which offers adventure and trekking tours in Phong Nha, recently returned to Kong Collapse for further exploration. The crew was able to determine the height between the highest and lowest points of Kong Collapse to be 450 meters.  

Kong Collapse is one of the highest cave ceiling collapses in the world with an underground river and an untouched jungle inside.

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for housing the oldest limestone mountains in Asia, forming around 400 million years ago, with more than 300 caves and spectacular underground rivers and jungles.

Boulders at the Kong Collapse are seen in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

Boulders at Kong Collapse are seen in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

A view from inside the Kong Collapse during nighttime is seen in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

A view from inside Kong Collapse during nighttime is seen in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

A man uses a rope to drop down from the entrance of Kong Collapse in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

A man uses a rope to drop down from the entrance of Kong Collapse in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

An aerial photo of the Kong Collapse’s entrance is seen in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

An aerial photo of Kong Collapse’s entrance is seen in a photo supplied by Jungle Boss.

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Kim Thoa - Quoc Nam / Tuoi Tre News

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