Wonders of the underworld: Explorer captures ‘cave cathedrals’ in all their ancient glory
ชื่นชมความงามจากธรรมชาติของถ้ำลำเขางู อุโมงค์ถ้ำที่วิจิตรตระการตา ด้วยหินงอก หินย้อย ขนาดมโหฬาร ส่วนหนึ่งของความมหัศจรรย์
ทางธรรมชาติยากที่มนุษย์จะลอกเลียนแบบได้ : หนึ่งในอุโมงค์ถ้ำในลำเขางู จ.กาญจนบุรี
At first glance they don’t look real, made in a Hollywood studio perhaps.
But these breathtakingly beautiful photographs are actually from Thailand and they give a glimpse into the staggering other world just beneath the Earth’s surface.
Taken by experienced Australian cave explorer John Spies the images highlight the incredible intricacy and colour of strange structures created over millions of years by water slowly dripping through limestone rock.
Some of the scenes captured by the subterranean snapper illustrate the sheer size of the caverns which can contain vast pools of water, high-rise columns and smooth rock domes.
The hundreds of stalactites draping from the roof are reminiscent of church organ pipes and when coupled with the huge echoey spaces it is no surprise that the caves have been labelled cathedrals.
The formations are so large that Mr Spies and other explorers face a difficult scramble to achieve their goal of reaching deeper into the cavernous depths.
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From the 200-foot world’s highest cave column that is Tham Lum Khao Ngu, known as Snake Mountain cave, in central Thailand to exploring underground rivers draped with impressive rock formations in Pang Mapha to the north of the country these shots show the very best of the nation’s underworld wonders.
In over 30 years as an underground explorer Mr Spies has visited 85 caves in which he has discovered incredible formations, documented prehistoric cave art, ancient underworld burial grounds, Buddhist temples and strange eyeless forms of life.
He says ‘I have discovered lots of unexplored caves.
‘This includes some of the longest and best decorated in Thailand.
‘I have found a new species and genus of cave fish called the angel fish and I have been involved with Thai and foreign archaeologists documenting and recording scores of sites.’
John has discovered caves where no human had visited before and his expertise in the field led him to work with Sir David Attenborough on his acclaimed Planet Earth BBC television series.