Cave-diving is not for the faint-hearted. It’s an extreme sport that holds many dangers, such as the ever-fluctuating visibility of being underwater and sudden strong water currents, so you’re forgiven if you’ve not yet given it a go. Well, now you can dive into the depths of the world’s largest cave from the safety of your own home with a good internet connection, thanks to photojournalist Martin Edström’s interactive map.
Setting out with his team in January 2015, Edström trekked along the four-kilometer-long (2.5-mile-long) cave to create the 360-degree interactive experience for National Geographic. Shot in high definition using 25 different cameras and strong LED lights, Martin Edström ventured along Sơn Đoòng Cave in Quảng Bình Province, Vietnam with his team to capture and assemble the footage into an immersive experience.
Translating to Mountain River Cave from Vietnamese, Sơn Đoòng was officially named the world's largest known cave in 2009. Its largest chamber is over five kilometers (3.1 miles) long, 200 meters (660 feet) high and 150 meters (490 feet) wide. And at almost 70 meters (230 feet) tall, the stalagmites in the cave are the tallest found in the world.
Photo Credit: Mats Kahström/Martin Edström. The view from underneath the Garden of Edam, the second doline (or sinkhole) of Son Doong.
“I work with interactive journalism because the end user gets a much more immersive experience—it's possible to get people to walk through the cave as if they were there,” said Edström, speaking to National Geographic. “You can get the reader into the story and get them to explore it actively.”
You can access the interactive map by Martin Edström and learn more about the beautiful passageways of Sơn Đoòng using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer. Premiering on June 2, a web series by Dell also follows Edström's journey of bringing Sơn Đoòng to the world.
[H/T National Geographic]