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In 1992, a strangely curious man named Wu Anai, near the Chinese village of Shiyan Beicun in Longyou County, based on a hunch, began to pump water out of a pond in his village. Anai believed the pond was not natural, nor was it infinitely deep as the local lore went, and he decided to prove it. He convinced some of his villagers and together they bought a water pump and began to siphon water out of the pond. After 17 days of pumping, the water level fell enough to reveal the flooded entrance to an ancient, man-made cave, confirming Anai’s suspicion.

This cave, now called the Longyou Caves, represent one of the largest underground excavation made during ancient times. A total of 24 hand-dug caves were eventually discovered, each with an average floor area of a thousand square meters and ceilings that reaches heights of up to 30 meters. The total area covered by all the caves exceeds 30,000 square meters.

longyou-caves-1

Photo credit: Tripadvisor

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