The earth is filled with all sorts of amazing and interesting phenomena. One of those is definitely the formation of sinkholes. Sinkholes are formed when a piece of land collapses and sinks into the earth. These are usually not a good, cool, or amazing thing. Many people are living in homes across the world that are built on top of sinkholes and they are unaware of it. Their house can sink at any moment without warning. Many people die every year due to sinkhole collapse. However, there are some sinkholes that have produced simple amazing and wildly beautiful landscapes which do not pose a threat to human safety. Below is a list of the top 10 coolest and most beautiful sinkholes on earth.
Number 10 – Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman
The Bimmah Sinkhole is one of the most beautiful sinkholes in the world. Not only is it cosmetically beautiful, but the structure of it forms the perfect natural swimming pool. It is filled with beautifully colored turquoise water. This sinkhole was formed when the underlying limestone collapsed. Thousands of tourist come here each year to see the beauty of this sinkhole and to take a swim. The sinkhole is also said to be home to the fish that are used in “fish pedicures”, where tiny fish are used to pick the dead skin off feet.
The Bimmah Sinkhole is just one of many things that have made the Sultanate of Oman the Arab capital of tourism. The Sultanate of Oman is a small country on the Arabian peninsula that most people have never heard of. As the country lies on the Arabian Peninsula, the sinkhole is naturally located close to the ocean. The undercurrent of the ocean was is what has filled it with water. The sinkhole is approximately 20 meters deep and has an area of 350 square meters.
Number 9 – Devils Sinkhole, Texas
The “Devils Sinkhole” is a sinkhole that is found in the state of Texas in the United States. It is close in proximity to the US-Mexico border and houses a special type of bat called the Mexican Free Tailed Bat. This sinkhole is known to house the biggest colony of mexican free tail bats in the world. Every year it draws tens of thousands of tourist who flock to see this massive colony of bats as well as the sinkhole itself.
The opening of the sinkhole, pictured above, is roughly 50 feet wide. At the bottom of the sinkhole, the diameter stretches to 320 feet wide at its maximum depth of 320 feet. From spring to fall the over 3 million bats that the sinkhole is home to fly out at nighttime creating an amazing spectacle. Perhaps the largest colony of bats in the world that one can witness. While people are not allowed down in the sinkhole itself, they are allowed to walk out on a platform that looks down into the cavern. In short, if you are one of the many thousands who would like to travel to Texas to see this, your two tourist options are to view the sinkhole from the platform or come out at night to see the massive bat colony emerge from its cavern.
Number 8 – Ice Sinkhole, Antartica
Despite a large effort to find out information about this sinkhole in Antartica, there is none available on the internet. With that said, this sinkhole was just too amazing not to include on the list. The picture itself is worth enough mention. Judging by the fact that the guy you see in the picture has a kayak, there is probably a body of water at the bottom. There might even be a cavs that you can navigate through under the ice. Chances are that the guy you see in the picture is a researcher collecting samples and doing observation, as Antartica is one of the most inaccessible places on earth.
Number 7 – Massive Sinkhole, Guatemala
In 2007, a near perfect circular part of ground in the middle of town collapsed in Guatemala City. Prior to the collapse residents heard rumblings and shaking sounds near the site of collapse, but had no idea what was about to happen. Due to a lack of maintenance of the underground sewer system, a series of leaking pipes caused enough exposure of water to erode the ground and cause collapse. In some areas the leaking of water would never cause a collapse like this, but due to the composition of the ground in Guatemala city it was particularly susceptible to this kind of event.
The ground underneath Guatemala city is composed of Limestone, Volcanic Ash, and PyroClastic Deposits. What are PyroClastic Deposits? These are basically rocks that have formed due to the plasma of the volcano cooling down. These rocks are particularly weak and do not have the strength to support the weight of a city. Volcanic ash is even weaker than the Pyroclastic Deposits and Limestone is especially sensitive to water. Water alone erodes limestone at a fast rate. The combination of these three substances along with water runoff from the faulty pipes, caused the sinkhole to suddenly form.
This resulted in a vertical hole of nearly 300 feet in depth. Sadly, this also resulted in the death of five people. Another 1000 people had to evacuate their homes and several businesses had to relocate. This still stands as one of the craziest sinkhole collapses ever seen on earth.
Number 6 – Berezniki Sinkhole, Russia
The city of Berzinki Russia has been home to one of the most unique sinkhole phenomena seen. For presumably thousands of years, the city had not suffered from a single sinkhole problem. The one pictured above occurred in 2015 and has since gotten progressively deeper each year. It is one of 5 sinkholes that have struck the area in the last decade with the first occurring in 2006 near a mine. Thankfully, there have been no deaths attributed to the collapse of these sinkholes. Due to these sinkholes, the city of Berzinki has gotten the nickname “The City Swallowed By Sinkholes”.
Number 5 – Mulberry Sinkhole, Florida USA
The Mulberry Sinkhole is located in Florida on the county line of Hillsborough and Polk counties, near the city of Tampa. It occurred in 2016 next to a large Mosaic Phosphate processing plant. The hole was originally thought to be 300 feet, but experts now believe that it is much deeper than that. Some now believe that it may be as deep as 750 feet which would make it one of the deepest sinkholes on earth. As you can see from the picture, if you were to fall down this sinkhole they probably would not even be able to retrieve your body.
Number 4 – Great Blue Hole, Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a sinkhole that occured due to the collapse of a masive piece of ground in the ocean off the coast of Belize. At 1000 feet deep, it is one of the largest ground collapses ever witnessed in present times and is officially classified as the deepest salt water blue hole on earth. Since its collapse and subsequent formation, the sinkhole has become one of the biggest scuba diving attractions in the world. It has even been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This area is protected by international treaties to ensure that it remains unaffected by humans.
Number 3 – Deans Blue Hole, Bahamas
Located near Clarence Town in the Bahamas, Deans Blue Hole is the second deepest saltwater blue hole on the planet behind the Great Blue Hole in Belize. At almost 700 feet deep, the sinkhole it is the result of limestone erosion like the majority of sinkholes on earth. One major difference between this sinkhole and the Great Blue Hole is that this one has a very small opening. The opening is only around 100 feet in diameter, but widens to around 300 feet in diameter as you go further down. There is surprisingly only a small amount of information about this beautiful sinkhole off the Bahamian coast.
Number 2 – Sarisarinama Sinkhole – Venezuela
The Sarisarinama Sinkholes are arguably the most amazing world wonder in South America. Located in Venezuela, these sinkholes are over 1000 feet deep and 1000 feet wide. They have large openings that the top that progressivly get smaller the further you go down. Unlike most sinkholes, this one has existed for thousands of years and is now stable enough for adventure enthusiast to trek down into. However, the most amazing thing about these holes is the wildlife and ecosystems. Believe it or not, the ecosystems of these holes are so unique that they house species not found anywhere else in the world.
Number 1 – El Zacaton Sinkhole – Mexico
El zacaton is the deepest sinkhole in the world at 1100 feet and by far the most amazing. For starters, this sinkhole is thermal meaning that the ground naturally heats its waters. In addition to this, the sinkhole is a renown diving location. It is so renown for its amazing diving opportunities, that it is has been host to numerous world record diving attempts. In 1993, Ann Kristovich set the womens world record dive by descending almost 554 feet below the surface. The following year in 1994, Jim Bowden set the mens world record by diving 925 feet below the surface of El Zacaton.