Is Gua Tempurung really 1.5 billion years old? If it’s true, the cave could be among the oldest existing natural features in the world.
A Chinese geologist visiting the cave on January 17, 2012, claims Gua Tempurung has existed for more than 1.5 billion years and now the Perak state government may soon conduct further studies to ascertain if it is really that old.
Earlier studies by Perak’s state government on Gua Tempurung which is one of the top tourist attractions in the state, had estimated the cave’s age at about 400 million years old.
However, head to the geology department of China’s Guangzhou Province’s Education Association, Zhou Shunbin who headed a delegation of 93 students for the visit believes it to be much older. The visit was jointly organised by Global Institute of Tourism and Tourism Perak.
Shunbin had based his claim on one of the rocks he spotted in the cave which is known as “meat rock” and according to him, takes at least 1,500 million years to form. A similar rock exhibited at a museum in Taiwan is not in its natural state as it has been polished.
“We are impressed with the bio-diversity of this area,” he told Perak Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman who welcomed the delegation which included 14 teachers and education department officials.
Hamidah later told reporters that the state’s relevant authorities would be told to conduct a detailed study to ascertain the cave’s actual age.
“We will also liaise with Shunbin to gather more information on his findings,” she said, adding that in China, such formations would be well protected.
Hamidah also hopes the students would become mini ambassadors and promote Perak when they get back home as it could be a boost for Visit Perak Year 2012.
The delegation is on a three-day visit also went for jungle trekking to the Rafflesia haven of Ulu Geroh in Gopeng and will head to Pangkor Island thereafter.
Gua Tempurung is a 2km-long intricate cave system with honeycombs and chambers of various dimensions. The cave is concealed within majestic white marble and limestone hills and boasts a breathtaking gallery of stalagmites and stalactites and other amazing rock formations which are found only in this part of the world.