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Weird Sinkholes Opening Everywhere – What’s Going On?


By James Donahue


The sinkhole that appeared in the heart of Guatemala City in May 2010 gained world attention because of its massive size. The 66-foot-wide, 100-foot deep chasm swallowed a three-story building and a security guard, plus electric utility poles causing a local power failure.


In July, 2011, a 40-foot-wide sinkhole, estimated to be about 30 feet deep, suddenly appeared on a Utah highway near Tabiona, some 90 miles east of Salt Lake City, sending two vehicles careening into the pit. A 15-year-old passenger was killed and the two drivers were hospitalized.


An even more spectacular hole, estimated to be at least 100-feet deep, suddenly appeared on Inskip Point, north of Tin Can Bay, a popular camp site in Australia in June, 2011. Witnesses said four-wheel drive vehicles had passed the site only minutes before the hole appeared at mid-day. One witness said the hole was so large “people are bringing chairs and sitting back to watch it in awe” because the hole was getting larger and larger as they watched. “Chunks are falling out of the beach into nowhere. Where is the sand going? It’s just incredible.”


One month earlier residents of Basking Ridge, New Jersey, were scratching their heads over a 100-foot-wide hole that appeared in the yard of a subdivision. The oddity about this hole was that the dirt and topsoil appeared to have been blown upward from the ground. It was not a sinkhole. Police said the hole was only about 18 inches deep and the grass was folded back. Rocks and dirt was thrown all around the hole. Authorities could not determine what happened because there had not been an explosion.


Most of the sinkholes, which are occurring all over the world, have been attributed to flowing underground water that erodes the earth below the surface. They usually always appear unexpectedly, sometimes swallowing buildings, houses and cars.


As our overcrowded world puts more and more demands on existing fresh water aquifers to supply water needs of major cities and farms, studies have found that groundwater levels are dropping dramatically all over the world. Water has been disappearing below southern Argentina, Western Australia and large areas of the United States. The loss of water is especially severe in California, Arizona, India, China and the Middle East.


Could the loss of all this water in the natural underground lakes and streams be associated with all of the sinkholes? Are old and long forgotten mine shafts been caving?


Some of the more spectacular sinkholes in the world include the following:


What is believed to be the largest natural depressions in the world can be found west of Cairo, Egypt, at Qattara. This sludge-filled quicksand pit measures 400 feet wide and 260 feet long and is estimated to be 430 feet deep.


The Berezniki sinkhole in Russia opened in 1986 and has been getting larger with each passing year. Experts say the sinking earth there cannot be stopped. The hole is presently over 560 feet deep, 260 feet long and 130 feet wide.


Florida is a place where sinkholes are a common occurrence. One massive 15-story sinkhole opened beneath an 80-million-ton pile of gypsum in West Central Florida in 1994. The industrial waste contaminated 90 percent of the state’s drinking water. The hole was nicknamed the “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”


An ancient 400-foot cavern at Rocksprings, Texas, has been dubbed the Devil’s Sinkhole. The opening is 40 by 60 feet wide.


In Daisatta, Texas, a small sinkhole that opened in a residential neighborhood in 2008 continued to grow in size to over 900 feet within a day. It consumed buildings, cars and utility poles as it grew. Even oil field equipment toppled into the pit.