Sucked in, Sinkhole

You’d be pretty unlucky to be swallowed up by a sinkhole.
Imagine – you’re driving along en route to a hot date, when BAM, you’re falling down a hole.
You’re tucked up in bed with a hot milo and a good book, when BAM, you’re falling down a massive hole.
Or you’re taking a bog, when BAM:
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An American man died when a sinkhole swallowed the bottom floor of his home in Seffner, Florida, in 2013. Apparently, the man’s bed fell into the hole along with all his bedroom furniture. He has never been found, nor has the bedroom.
A man died when a sinkhole swallowed the first floor of his home in Seffner, Florida, in 2013.
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Courtesy: MCT/Landov/Barcroft Media
Courtesy: MCT/Landov/Barcroft Media
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So, what’s a sinkhole?
Put simply, it’s any hole in the ground created by the erosion and subsequent collapse of the bedrock underfoot.
ie. acidic groundwater + limestone = SINKHOLE!
The technical name for that process is ‘karst terrain’. But whatever.
Sinkholes vary in size. Some span just one metre. Others are big enough to swallow whole buildings.
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Sinkhole, aka swallow hole, sink, shakehole, swallet, depression or doline.
  1. a cavity in the ground, especially in a limestone formation, caused by water erosion and providing a route for surface water to disappear underground.

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This sinkhole opened up in Guatemala City in 2010, swallowing a three-storey building.
This sinkhole opened up in Guatemala City in 2010, swallowing a three-storey building.
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This is the same hole, pictured from above. At least one man died.
This is the same hole, pictured from above. At least one man died.
According the U.S. Geological Survey: “Such a collapse can have a dramatic effect if it occurs in an urban setting.”
No shit.
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An underground cave system cause this sinhole, in the southern Italian town of Gallipoli in 2007.
An underground cave system cause this sinkhole, in the southern Italian town of Gallipoli in 2007.
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There are two basic types:
Ones that are created slowly over time, and those that appear suddenly.
Obviously everyone likes the ones that appear suddenly. They are much more exciting.
Like, “SURPRISE! I’M A SINKHOLE! IMA SWALLOW YOUR DOG/HOUSE/STREET/MUSEUM!”
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Sinkhole swallows fancy cars at a museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Feb 14, 2014. Courtesy: National Corvette Museum
Sinkhole swallows fancy cars at a museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Feb 14, 2014.
Courtesy: National Corvette Museum
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There’s not much we can do about sinkholes – the natural ones anyway (apart from NOT building your homes on porous, carbon-based rock).
But recently there’ve been a stack of sinkholes triggered by us humans (at least partly).
It’s believed some of our drainage systems replicate the same corrosive effect on the bedrock. Good one, humans.
And, suddenly the nomadic lifestyle is looking very attractive. Who’s with me?
There’s less chance of getting caught in a sinkhole if you’re constantly on the move…..
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