Thursday, October 23, 2008


These images are of the Xe Bang Fai River cave in Laos.
A French explorer went through the huge cave on a bamboo raft in l905 with another French team returning in 1995.
Caver John Pollack came here in 2006 and in 2008 when the spelunking team mapped an photographed the 5.9-mile length of the cavern for the first time. According to Pollack the Xe Bang Fai River cave has some of the largest rooms and structures of any river cave on earth. He said that everything about the cave is big including the spiders which can be 10 inches across.
Expedition co-leader Bob Osburn is producing a detailed map of the cavern and the expedition's photographer Dave Bunnell shot these pictures. The rest of the team consisted of four Canadian and four American researchers with Loatian guides and assistants.
The expedition was funded by the National Geographic Society and spent ten days surveying and photographing the cave.

This is the Cave's downstream entrance which was used by the expedition travelling in lightweight kayaks and communicating by walkie-talkie.

This spelunker is standing in front of draperies made of calcite deposits. They are located about 2 miles from the cave's downstream entrance.

This is a stalagmite of tremendous size which dwarfs the explorer. Stalagmites are made of mineral deposits from dripping water which evaporates and leaves the minerals behind.

The explorers called this large room "the Cathedral" for its high vaulted ceiling. The cave not only has a downstream entrance but an upstream one as well. The volume of water that passes through the cave and the size of its passages would make Xe Bang Fai River cave one of the largest river caves on Earth.


Brian Hughes said...

"A French explorer went through the huge cave on a bamboo raft in l905 with another French team returning in 1995."

Blood hell...they were in there a long time.

Jayne said...

But I am rather pleased you didn't include any happy snaps of the spiders that are 10 inches across *shudder*

Pants said...

Hi Coppie

Lovely pictures. I went through a wonderful river cave in Cuba once. It was in the Vinales Valley. No spiders but lots of fireflies.



JahTeh said...

Thank you Fleetwood, I did spot that stupidity but it was late at night and I even put the wrong date on it.

Jayne, I couldn't find an image to see if that meant from apendage to apendage or just the body.

Pants, I could handle fireflies but when I found out that glowworms in the cave in Capri were worms, it finished me. There must be a name for wormphobia.

River said...

That's a beiful cave. I could live in that.

River said...


JahTeh said...

Saturday night and the river's pissed. Don't forget it's all in darkness where you can't see the spiders.

Middle Child said...

Just amazing