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mapped for the first time only a few years ago, laos’ tham khoun ex (or xe bang fai) cave has over fifteen kilometres of passages to explore during the november to april dry season, when the river which flows through it - the largest cave river on the planet, it is believed - slows to about ten cubic metres, making it navigable by kayak. (consider that during the raining season, the river flows at one thousand cubic metres a second.) 

photos by john spies and charles ghommidh

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Longyou Caves

These caves, discovered in 1992, still remain largely a mystery in regards to their origin and construction. Located in thte Zhejiang province of China, about 36 underground grottoes have been discovered to date. The architecture includes bridges, gutters, pillars, and pools, among other things. There are no traces that construction ever took place, and no historical documents exist about the caves. The walls are chiseled in a parallel formation, which is uniform throughout, and seems to exist purely for decoration - decoration which would have required endless hours of work. Their purpose and who built them has never been discovered. The caves simply remain a beautiful mystery for now.

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photos by robbie shone of martin groves and gareth davies descending down the moulins of the gorner glacier near zermatt, switzerland. the first to explore these endoglacial cavities,  their work will help researchers get a better understanding of glaciers and their rate of melting. 

at 14 kilometres long, the gorner glacier is the second largest glacial system in the alps. its cavities are created when meltwater up on the glacier weakens the ice around it and suddenly flushes down the moulin to unseen depths. much of the water will end up at the base of glacier, helping to lubricate its movement over land.

notes robbie, “seeing how vast and extensive these moulins can be just goes to show how much water they take during the summer months and thus leading to rapid increase in the rate in which these glaciers move and shrink in size." 

he added, "sadly, it seems, it won’t be long before we are without glaciers in europe." 

photo by Ted Gore | MY TUMBLR BLOG

Primitive Dreams. I would want to wake up to a sight like this.

Though it would be pretty inconvenient to sleep in a cave… cuz there could be snakes and bears, and most importantly no wifi… total deal breaker :/