Ancient forest discovered which could contain totally unknown species

Ancient forest discovered which could contain totally unknown species
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A giant sinkhole home to an ancient forest in China could potentially be home to unknown species.

Chinese scientists in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China discovered the 630-foot deep hole last year, with trees as tall as 130 feet.

It was found by cave explorers, who took a deep dive into the forest – which surprisingly has a gap making room for sunlight for the flourishing forest. The area where such sinkholes exist is often referred to as karst landscape. They're caused when water erodes the bedrock.

Zhang Yuanha a senior engineer at the Institute of Karst Geology told local media that three caves were also discovered in the forest.

Chen Lixin, who led the cave expedition team has now suggested the forest could have animals unknown to science.

He said: "I wouldn’t be surprised to know that there are species found in these caves that have never been reported or described by science until now."

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The executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) in the US, sister organisation of the China Geological Survey, George Veni said: "Not only do sinkholes and caves offer refuge for life, they are also a conduit to aquifers, or deep stores of underground water.

"Karst aquifers provide the sole or primary water source for 700 million people worldwide. But they're easily accessed and drained — or polluted.

"They are the only types of aquifers that you can pollute with solid waste.

"I've pulled car batteries and car bodies and barrels of God-knows-what and bottles of God-knows-what out of the active cave stream."

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