Adventurers have stumbled across a cave so enormous that it has its own weather system, complete with wispy clouds and lingering fog inside vast caverns. A team of expert cavers and photographers have been exploring the vast cave system in the Chongquing province of China and have taken the first-ever photographs of the natural wonder. They were amazed to discover the entrance to the hidden Er Wang Dong cave system and were stunned when they managed to climb inside to see a space so large that it can contain a cloud.
- The view from a small window in the wall of the vast Niubizi Tian Keng in the Er Wang Dong cave system, where clouds form inside the huge spaces. Three tiny explorers can be seen negotiating the heavily vegetated floor
The cave system was discovered in the Chongquing province of China by a team of cavers and photographers
Caver Robbie Shone, from Manchester, said a few of the caves had previously been used by nitrate miners but had not been properly explored
The network, which includes 'cloud Ladder Hall' measuring around 51,000 metres squared, has water sources and vegetation of the floor
- An intrepid cave explorer ascends a rope hanging from the Niubizi Tian Keng. This photograph is one of the first-ever images taken of one of a cave so large it has its own weather system
'It is always very special, knowing that you are the first to step foot into a cave or somewhere where nobody had previously seen, not knowing what you might find and discover.
'Where else on Earth can still hold secrets and mysteries of discovery? That's what I love so much about exploring.
Mr Shones was particularly excited about the cave network's interior weather system.