A state known for its picturesque hilltops and natural tree root bridges is now also home to the longest sandstone cave in the world at 24,583m, with dinosaur fossils from 66-76 million years ago, HT reports.
The sandstone cave named Krem Puri, near the village of Laitsohum in the Mawsynram, was first discovered in 2016, but during the recent 25-day expedition by the Meghalaya Adventurers’ Association (MAA), the actual length of the cave was uncovered. It is 6,000m longer than the current listed sandstone cave in the world, Cueva El Samán, (18,200m) in Venezuela.
Brian Khapran Daly, General Secretary of MAA has been mapping Meghalayas’ caves since 1994 and was a part of the expedition team that comprised four scientists from Italy, 30 cavers from across Europe and other members of MAA. Palaeontologists believe that the fossils could belong to a giant reptile called Mosasaurus, an extinct carnivorous aquatic lizard that roamed the earth over 70 million years ago.
As part of the expedition, nine other caves were explored and new ones from the region were mapped. Meghalayas’ vast system of caves are located in the areas of Cherrapunjee, Shella, Pynursla, Nongjri, Mawsynram and Langrin. Currently, the explored caves account for only 5 percent of the total number in the state.