Amazing Biggest, Strangest, and Most Devastating Sinkholes on Earth

One day you’re feeling satisfied with the fruits of all your yard work. The next day, your lawn is a gaping pit of mud. That’s if you are lucky - it could have been your house, neighborhood or, say, local interstate. Sinkholes tend to appear suddenly, and while particular regions are famously prone to sinkholes they happen all over the world. It begins with an innocuous leak in a rusty pipe. The earth beneath your feet quietly erodes until one day…whoosh. Whole buildings have been sucked into sinkholes. Entire roads have been knocked out. Here are some of the biggest and baddest sinkholes in the world.

Eventually (at least 160 years in the future) the new lake would rival Lake Eerie’s size. anyway. sludge-filled quicksand pit is unearthly in its appearance and shocking in its size.Qattara Depression The vast Qattara west of Cairo.the product of fierce winds tearing into the slimy salt beds right down to the water table. The plan would require digging a ditch from the edge of Qattara to the Mediterranean and allowing the sink to slowly fill with water via a tunnel. Egypt is the largest natural sinkhole in the world. measuring 80km long by 120km wide. They’re pretty sure it would. Egypt is home to a number of desert sinkholes. at that point the heat of the desert would evaporate additional water flow.) . The 133m deep sinkhole has been used in battle and more recently scientists have attempted to develop a $360 million dollar project that would harness the Qattara for complete energy independence. (Note: click the Google Maps link to zoom. This dangerous. The minty-green area is Qattara. The almost incomprehensibly vast Qattara hole is 100% natural .

Berezniki’s sinkhole began in 1986 and just grows worse with each passing year. In case you’re thinking “Berezniki? Who cares?” you should know that 10% of the world output of potash comes from this area. the ground moves you. Currently it’s over 200m deep. 80m long and 40m wide. . It’s unstoppable. and the sinkhole is very close to destroying the mine’s sole rail line.Berezniki In Soviet Russia.

. Ground underlain with carbonate bedrock . but the common factor in both is usually water. Two people died and over most prone to sinking because the bedrock erodes with repeated exposure to water. Sinkholes are caused by changing geological conditions or by a failure to maintain aging underground pipes and sewage systems. It’s amazing how neat the hole is.limestone for example .000 had to be evacuated. a near-perfect circle of earth dropped some 30 stories almost instantly. in late February 2007. The rock corrodes and the sediment swells with water and eventually everything reaches a critical mass point. Then.Guatemala City Residents of a Guatemala City heard strange rumblings for weeks but weren’t sure what was happening beneath them. the sinkhole resulted from a corroded sewage system deep beneath the surface (apparently the odor coming from the hole was intolerable).

a swim park. the residents of Bimmah. each hole contains unique ecosystems with many distinct plant and animal species found nowhere else on earth. There are several of these perfectly round basins that are each 350m in diameter and over 350m deep. Scientists aren’t sure how these stunning sink holes originated. You can view video footage of a flight over the largest hole here.) . Bimmah Making the most of one of nature’s great oddities. but they are awe-inspiring nonetheless.Sarisarinama The Sarisarinama holes of Venezuela are a mysterious and beautiful natural wonder. (Well actually. Oman turned this sinkhole into a tourist trap.

Mount Gambier Known as the city of craters. (Sinkholes are a well-known and persistent problem in Florida. you wouldn’t want to own this unlucky Florida house. the city has both volcanic craters and naturally-occurring sinkholes that have filled with water. caves and caverns beneath its residential crust.) . It’s really quite beautiful. Perching atop limestone. Unidentified Unfortunate House Steve Kluge has cataloged a impressive list of geological and disaster-related photographs. It’s not just floods and hurricanes. Mount Gambier (between Adelaide and Melbourne in South East Australia) has all manner of water channels.

The hazardous soup contaminated 90% of Florida’s drinking water and cleanup efforts ran into the millions of dollars. . but this disaster in 1994 was one of the most devastating by far.Agrico Gypsum Stack Florida is plagued by sinkhole erosion. South Florida The karst (a type of bedrock) in this urbanized Southern Florida area weakened to the point of collapse and this sizable sinkhole was the result. as if to indicate that it was the newest Disney World attraction. A 15-story sinkhole tore open right beneath an 80-million-ton pile of gypsum stack (toxic industrial waste). The 2 million cubic foot hole soon was nicknamed the “Journey to the Center of the Earth”.

The limestone wonder has a 40'x60' opening and there is archaeological evidence that the sinkhole was considered sacred by Native Americans.otherwise we wouldn’t be able to build as the ground would simply sweep away . humancaused sinks are just disastrous. cenote. or doline. Random trivia: a sinkhole may also be referred to as a swallet. Locals are known to collect arrowheads.The Devil’s Sinkhole Plunging a frightening 400 feet is the cavernous Devil’s Sinkhole in Texas. The Macungie sink in Pennsylvania. above. gave Florida a run . Though nature’s ancient sinkholes are stunning. stalactites and other treasures from the sinkhole. Macungie A moderate level of water actually helps to “secure” the ground beneath our feet .but if the sediment becomes waterlogged a sinkhole may strike.

Kentucky ripped open. Authorities had been checking on the oil and natural gas lines as they suspected leakage. so sinkholes are becoming increasingly common. numerous underground sinks that could open at any time. structures and vehicles as it grew.) Daisetta In Daisetta. .for its money. Texas just a few months ago. making development very risky in the entire area. Unfortunately this region is dotted with naturally-occurring. consuming telephone poles. Bowling Green Plans for the Kentucky Trimodal Transpark were quickly abandoned when this massive 200-foot sinkhole in Bowling Green. (Pennsylvania’s water system is aging. what started as a small 20-foot sinkhole in a residential neighborhood spread to over 900 feet within a day. creating a sludge of oil and mud that came very close to destroying several homes. Oil field equipment nearby toppled into the pit.

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