Five out-of-season ice cave groups have been discovered in the Yunqiu Mountains of Xiangning County in Shanxi Province. Collectively, they are thought to be the largest of their kind ever discovered in China.
People shudder at the entrance to one of the natural out-of-season ice caves, even when the outdoor temperature is over 22 degrees centigrade. Thick ice frozen inside the cave, with many icicles on the cave's ceiling, make a striking contrast to the green vegetation outside. Only about one in every 10,000 caves can become an ice cave in China, so scientists say these are something of a miracle.
Chen Shicai, researcher of Institute of Geology and Geophysics, said, "It's also amazing that the ice caves have ventilation, with not only ice but also cold wind at low temperature, some 2-to-4 degrees centigrade coming out of some of them."
In one years time, the ice caves are to be developed into a natural scenic spot, adding to the other 50 site frequented by tourists in the Yunqiu Mountains, which also boasts more than 30 cultural heritage sites.