Vietnam's Hang Son Doong cave is the largest in the world, with caverns big enough to fit an entire city street inside them. These awe-inspiring photos take you inside the beautiful, alien world of the Hang Son Doong cave.
The cave was, amazingly enough, only discovered twenty years ago, and is just now being properly surveyed. National Geographic has a fascinating longer piece on the recent explorations of the cave, but the real highlight has to be the nearly two dozen amazing photographs from inside the cave.
Be sure to check out their gallery for the complete collection of amazing photos by Carsten Peter. In the meantime, here's a little sample to get you in the spelunking mood. Up top is quite possibly the biggest subterranean passage on the planet, capable of fitting inside a half-mile block of 40-story buildings. To get some idea of the scale of this chamber, look for the lone explorer at the centre of the image. And then there's the jungle of Hang Son Doong:
This tiny jungle, nicknamed the "Garden of Edam", formed underneath a collapsed roof of the cave, which allowed first light and then vegetation to make its way inside the cave. I don't know if anyone's officially confirmed it, but I think we can safely say this is the largest jungle inside a cave in the entire world. And then some images look like they are from another planet altogether:
These algae-covered ribs were formed by water overflowing the pools, reshaping them into what we see now. These awesome photos are still just a tiny sample of the wonders of the Hang Son Doong, so be sure to head over to National Geographic to take a look.
Photographs by Carsten Peter/National Geographic.