Sunday, January 16, 2011

Descent in the (Real) Depths


Adventurers traveling to a remote jungles to enter a gigantic cave, inhabited by things like poisonous centipedes isn't just the stuff of table top fantasy.  The February issue of National Geographic has an profusely illustrated article about an epedition to Son Doong Cave in Vietnam.  The cave's at least 2.8 miles long and is some places as tall as 460 feet.  Check out all the pictures and an interactive map here.


Not enough for a jaded delver like yourself?  Well, marvel at the the crystal formations in Mexico's appropriately named Cave of Crystals.  If that's not an adventurous environment (minus, you know, the extreme heat of 136 F and 90-100% humidity) I don't know what is:


Note the size of the people in relation to the crystals!

10 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

Those crystal columns are amazing. That would very cool to go see. Been in the caves around where I live, big and small, but never once have I seen something like that.

Trey said...

I know what you mean. I've been to pretty standard caves in North Florida, and slightly more interesting caves South Dakota, but never anything even close to that.

Johnathan Bingham said...

Wow, that is amazing. I went to a pretty cool cave system in Slovenia outside Postojna. We actually took a train 2 KM inside and then hiked another 5 km or so and according to the guide, that was only a tiny fraction of the cave system. There is actually a medieval castle inside the mouth of one of the larger caves that you can tour (that is hands down the coolest and spookiest castle I've ever been to).

Brutorz Bill said...

Simply amazing! I've been in some of the caves in Arkansas and Tennessee but they were nothing like that! WOW!!!

TheGrumpyCelt said...

Just before I left the states to start working in Europe, I toured Carlsbad Caverns. I remember being impressed at the size and making myself not think of all the rock above me. But Carlsbad is much smaller than this operation.

Pat said...

The crystals are absolutely incredible. Yoink, going in the megadungeon.

Risus Monkey said...

Wow, that is really startling. Love these real-world dungeons.

Jay said...

Yes, they were featured in an issue of Nat Geo and a TV special back in '08. I HIGHLY recommend the documentary, it was mind blowing!

Chris Tregenza said...

Not as spectacular but an interesting cave related resource for gamers -

Nottingham Caves Survey

Nottingham (6d6's home town) is built mostly sandstone, a very soft rock. Over at least 1000 years, people living here have carved out caves for every imaginable purpose - from breweries to bomb shelters.

The cave survey is mapping the hundred+ caves in the city with 3d scanners and placing the results on line.

Trey said...

Very cool! Thanks for the link.