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New discovery: 49 clustered sinkholes in a 230-square-mile patch of land

Scientists recently announced a major new discovery – massive sinkholes in China which now represent the highest natural density of the phenomenon in the world.

During a four-month survey in Qinling-Basham Mountains, located in China’s Shannxi Province area, government researchers found a series of sinkholes clustered together… 49 to be precise!

The clusters of sinkholes have formed natural vertical caves as a result of long-term erosion, with several being nearly a thousand feet deep and one measuring 1,706 in diameter. The 49 sinkholes are within a 230-square-mile patch of land and are well preserved due to the remote location. Local governments have started work to protect the caves as researchers believe they hold valuable paleoclimate data which could possibly give greater insight into the earth’s climate in the past.

That’s not all, the new discovery also found more than 10 types of rare plants, primitive forests and Chinese giant flying squirrels.

To view the video of the sinkholes, click here

National Geographic, Nov 2016. ‘World’s largest cluster of sinkholes discovered’ Available at: [Accessed 2nd December 2016]
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