Last May 30, during the recent storm in Guatemala, an entire street intersection, together with a clothing factory was swallowed by a terrifying gaping sinkhole:
(Photo courtesy of the Guatemala Presidency, Luis Echeverria) via AP
Sinkholes are caused when the rock underneath is soluble, like limestone for instance, and waters running underneath from rains or some experts say from sewers, is enough to create a cavern underneath. And once the weight becomes too much to bear, it collapses, creating a sinkhole. I get goosebumps when I see this photo. It almost looks like it came from some end-of-times science fiction movie. This specific sinkhole hasn’t been been measured yet, but another sinkhole that was created in 2007, also in Guatemala, was 330 feet deep, enough to sink the Statue of Liberty in. But sinkholes have been known to be as deep as a staggering 980 feet.
Here’s the 2007 Guatemala sinkhole:
(Photo from http://www.nachi.org)
Here’s one under a home that hasn’t fully collapsed:
(Photo from http://www.mail.colonial.net)
Now, when a sinkhole is submarine, or filled with water, it becomes a blue hole. Some are inland, while some are found at sea. Blue holes can be as deep as 663 feet. An example would be the legendary Great Blue Hole found in Belize:
(Photo from http://www.beautyofearth.net)
Funny, because maybe a month ago, I tweeted about a documentary called “Diving The Labyrinth” on NGC, about blue holes in the Bahamas and the perilous but breath-taking dives into them. It’s one of the most dangerous dives there is. But it’s also like a museum, because the fossils and other artifacts found in inland blue holes are preserved without any interference from the sea. It was amazing. I was frozen in my seat, mesmerized by the whole documentary. I had no idea these things existed, until I caught the program. I even joked that blue holes are not sad asses. And now I learn about sinkholes as well, all in the span of a month. I am completely fascinated by the whole concept of sinkholes and blue holes. Like many things in life, like sharks and the supernatural, I’m petrified at the sight of them, but I am inexplicably drawn to them. I often fantasize about denizens from the deep, inviting me to join them as I discover a civilization inside one of those blue holes. I would need gill transplants, but I’m cool with that.
(Photo from http://www.belize.com)