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   xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Nov 20 01:31 AM

November 20, 2008: Whole Lotta Hole

Just like getting a BJ from grandma... don't look down.

Quote:
Hold on to your specs while peering down here. You'd have a long climb to the bottom if they fell off.
This rocky chasm in China is one of the world's deepest underground shafts. It stretches down for an astonishing 3,100ft, or 1,026 metres.
An international team of cave explorers who discovered the cave, near the village of Tian Xing, are seen descending into the abyss.


Quote:
The picture was taken by photographer Robert Shone, 28, of Manchester, who spent two months with the climbers documenting-their explorations. Camping underground for four to five days at a time, the team were able to explore the extensive network of caves and tunnels.Though unimaginably deep, the Chinese caves are actually dwarfed by others across the globe.
The world's deepest cave is Krubera in Georgia, which is 6,822ft deep (2,080 metres), followed by Lamprechtsofen in Austria (5,354ft or 1,631 metres) and Gouffre Mirolda in France (5,335ft or 1,626 metres).


Link


Kolbenfresser  Thursday Nov 20 04:35 AM

Amazing. I'm gonna start a second career as a cave explorer right away.
Is this the cave where the Chinese Government dumps all the executed people? It shouldn't be that deep anymore...



ZenGum  Thursday Nov 20 05:43 AM

Should we tell Sheldon there is a giant vertical shaft in the IotD?


I just did some calculations, and if I got them right, if you tossed a stone into that shaft it would take 14.5 seconds to hit the bottom. There would be another three seconds before the sound reached you back at the top.
When it hit it would have been doing 510 kph (317mph) less wind resistance.



footfootfoot  Thursday Nov 20 10:53 AM

I thought terminal velocity was around 200mph?



sweetwater  Thursday Nov 20 10:57 AM

Obviously the work of a big Horta with locomotion difficulties.



glatt  Thursday Nov 20 11:00 AM

It's really cool how smooth/straight that hole is. I'm no geologist. There's probably some simple explanation for how it was formed, but I can't imagine what that would be.



lumberjim  Thursday Nov 20 11:02 AM

THIS THING:



Cicero  Thursday Nov 20 11:16 AM

I just want to throw a hot dog down there. Zen can calculate it for me. And Sheldon could laff.



Sheldonrs  Thursday Nov 20 11:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
Should we tell Sheldon there is a giant vertical shaft in the IotD?...
I've been aware of you for some time. ;-)


Cloud  Thursday Nov 20 11:37 AM

spelunking will NOT appear in my obituary



Sheldonrs  Thursday Nov 20 12:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloud View Post
spelunking will NOT appear in my obituary
But "Horrendous personal pleasuring device accident' will.


Cloud  Thursday Nov 20 12:04 PM

oh, one can only hope!



HungLikeJesus  Thursday Nov 20 12:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
Should we tell Sheldon there is a giant vertical shaft in the IotD?


I just did some calculations, and if I got them right, if you tossed a stone into that shaft it would take 14.5 seconds to hit the bottom. There would be another three seconds before the sound reached you back at the top.
When it hit it would have been doing 510 kph (317mph) less wind resistance.
I got slightly different numbers, but I didn't account for bouncing off the walls on the way down.


SteveDallas  Thursday Nov 20 12:36 PM

What about terminal velocity? I guess you couldn't figure it unless you knew the exact size & mass of the stone and figured out the air resistance.



HungLikeJesus  Thursday Nov 20 12:38 PM

All you really need is the mass, frontal area and drag coefficient.



Clodfobble  Thursday Nov 20 01:09 PM

How can the air be any good way down at the bottom? I would think they'd need breathing apparatus at some point in their explorations.

Also: better hope the bulbs don't burn out on those flashlights.



Cicero  Thursday Nov 20 01:10 PM

I like it when HLJ talks dirty.



barefoot serpent  Thursday Nov 20 02:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
There's probably some simple explanation for how it was formed, but I can't imagine what that would be.
Limestone rock (soluble) + water (slightly acidic) + time (millions of years) = karst topography


dar512  Thursday Nov 20 02:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveDallas View Post
What about terminal velocity? I guess you couldn't figure it unless you knew the exact size & mass of the stone and figured out the air resistance.
And whether they have coconuts tied on.


HungLikeJesus  Thursday Nov 20 02:57 PM

Perhaps someone in Argentina dug a hole to China.

Here's an elevation map of the cave from 2002 (from here). (I think it's the same cave. The link is to the explorers' journals.)




footfootfoot  Thursday Nov 20 03:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
It's really cool how smooth/straight that hole is. I'm no geologist. There's probably some simple explanation for how it was formed, but I can't imagine what that would be.
Tunnelling like that is usually caused by small clumps of baking soda or baking powder which weren't properly sifted. That is why it is important to sift all your dry ingredients, especially if they are clumpy.


Undertoad  Thursday Nov 20 03:38 PM

I would guess that layers of permeable and impermeable rock are created over ages, and then pushed around as a part of tectonic plate collision, with some layers being pushed close to vertical, and then a process of erosion occurs and the impermeable parts don't crumble in for some reason. That's just a guess.



glatt  Thursday Nov 20 03:53 PM

It's clearly water doing it, but I don't understand why the water eroded straight down instead of making a more horizontal cavern with stalactites and stalagmites. Those caverns are in limestone too.

It's so perfectly straight in the photos and we all know that water almost never goes perfectly straight. It winds and meanders all over the place following the path of least resistance.

Barefoot's karst topography link makes a lot of sense the way it's drawn, but I'm not fully convinced. This shaft reminds me of peeing into a snow bank. Dogs, I mean, not me. You would never catch me peeing into a snowbank.



Wombat  Thursday Nov 20 06:48 PM

Not just any water... falling water. Water does go in a perfectly straight line when gravity makes it fall straight down and there is no wind.

Makes me think of Gandalf and the Balrog...



Ibby  Thursday Nov 20 07:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by HungLikeJesus View Post
Perhaps someone in Argentina dug a hole to China.

Here's an elevation map of the cave from 2002 (from here). (I think it's the same cave. The link is to the explorers' journals.)


they named all the different parts after... Doctor Who?

that. is. so. COOL.


footfootfoot  Thursday Nov 20 08:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldonrs View Post
But "Horrendous personal pleasuring device accident' will.
You can't really dust astroglide for fingerprints, can you?


Gravdigr  Friday Nov 21 08:43 AM

Looks kinda like the asshole of the earth. And here I thought it (the a-hole of the earth) was in a trailer park here in Kentucky.



Diaphone Jim  Friday Nov 21 04:11 PM

No comments on the "grandma" quip in the intro, but I'm not sure why. One time I think of it I laugh out loud, the next time I shudder. Is it an old IOTD standby? Or just something xoB managed to sneak in?
Speaking of IOTD standbys, when I was in Vietnam there was a nearbly unit called the 174th Assault Helicopter Company, with the motto or handle "Dolphins and Sharks." The dolphins were the "slicks" or troop carriers and dustoffs and the sharks the gunships (Cobra, e.g.). Have they come up in the d/s bandinage here?



dar512  Friday Nov 21 05:20 PM

Bruce is just a witty guy.



Sundae  Friday Nov 21 07:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diaphone Jim View Post
No comments on the "grandma" quip in the intro, but I'm not sure why.
I thunked it. But I have a quota of snarky comments per day, and I was saving them up for Flint.


spudcon  Friday Nov 21 10:58 PM

We have a bigger hole than that here in the states.
It sucks up trillions and trillions of dollars annually,
Never to be heard from again!



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