The Cuyahoga River flows through Cleveland, Ohio before emptying into
Sinkholes are amazing when you think about it — such a massive force of nature (whether they are natural in origin or artificial) should always be respected. However, they also have the tendency to be completely terrifying, because cars, homes, large buildings and people can and do get sucked away when one forms. Sinkholes are caused by some form of collapse on the surface layer of the land and can form suddenly or develop over time. They also vary in size. Here are a few notable sinkholes that have formed around the world.
Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel
This pair of magnificent sinkholes can be found in Venezuela, South America, along with two smaller sinkholes in the same area. They are unusual as they’re located on the only forested tepui (South American tabletop mountain), and they have a layer of forest in their bases as well. Sima Humboldt is over 1,000 feet deep, and Sima Martel is over 800 feet deep.
This gigantic sinkhole is located in China. It’s an amazing natural wonder, featuring vertical walls and an underground river flows through the bottom. It’s also home to many different species of plants and animals, some of which are rare, like the ginkgo plant and the clouded leopard.
2010 Guatemala sinkhole
The sinkhole that appeared in Guatemala in 2010 is considered an artificial sinkhole. A combination of the effects of Tropical Storm Agatha, the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano and faulty sewer pipes in Guatemala City all contributed to the formation of a 100-foot-deep sinkhole. It swallowed a three-story building, electricity poles, and a security guard, and contributed to a total of 15 deaths.
Pozzo del Merro
One of the deepest sinkholes in the world, Pozzo del Merro, is located in the countryside northeast of Rome, Italy. Exploration devices reached the bottom at 1,286 feet, but there was another passageway that ran horizontally.
Baltimore, Maryland 2014 sinkhole
Heavy rains opened up a block-long sinkhole in April, 2014 on a busy city street in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Russian city of Berezniki was built directly over a mine, and sinkholes have been opening up with enough regularity that they city has installed a 24-hour surveillance team to monitor sinkhole activity.