A sinkhole is a depression or hole in the ground caused by some form of collapse of the surface layer. Sinkholes vary in size from 1 to 600 m (3.3 to 2,000 ft) both in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms. Sinkholes may form gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide. Here is the list top 10 most amazing sinkholes in the world.
World’s Most Amazing Sinkholes
10. Berezniki Sinkhole, Russia
Berezniki is a city in Perm Krai, Russia, located on the banks of the Kama River, in the Ural Mountains. The sinkhole located in Berezniki measures 80 meters long, 40 meters wide and 200 meters deep. It started in 1986 after a potash mine in the area experienced massive flooding.
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9. Bahmah sinkhole, Oman
Bimmah Sinkhole is a water-filled depression, structurally a sinkhole, in the limestone of eastern Muscat Governorate in the Sultanate of Oman. A lake of turquoise waters, it is 50 m by 70 m wide and approximately 20 m deep. The sinkhole was formed by a collapse of the surface layer due to dissolution of the underlying limestone. To preserve, protect the sinkhole, the local municipality developed a park, Hawiyat Najm Park (Haweat Najm Park), around it, along with a stairway leading down to the lake.
8. Xiaozhai Tiankeng – Heavenly Pit , China
The Xiaozhai Tiankeng, also known as the Heavenly Pit, is the world’s deepest sinkhole. It is located in Fengjie Countyof Chongqing Municipality. The Xiaozhai Tiankeng is 626 metres long, 537 metres wide, and between 511 and 662 metres deep, with vertical walls. Its volume is 119,349,000 m³ and the area of its opening is 274,000 m².
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7. Harwood Hole, New Zealand
Harwoods Hole is a cave system located in the northwest of the South Island of New Zealand. It is one of several important cavesystems in Takaka Hill, between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay. Starting at the surface as a 50-meter round entrance and descending 183 meters. Harwood’s Hole has an overall depth of 357 m. Harwood Hole is New Zealand’s deepest vertical shaft.
6. Dean’s Blue Hole, The Bahamas
Dean’s Blue Hole is the world’s second deepest known salt water blue hole with an entrance below the sea level. It plunges 202 meters (663 ft) in a bay west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas. Dean’s Blue Hole is roughly circular at the surface, with a diameter ranging from 25 to 35 meters (82–115 ft). After descending 20 meters (66 ft), the hole widens considerably into a cavern with a diameter of 100 meters (330 ft).
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5. 2010 Guatemala City sinkhole, Guatemala
The 2010 Guatemala City sinkhole was a disaster in which an area approximately 65 ft (20 m) across and 300 ft (90 m) deep collapsed in Guatemala City’s Zona 2, swallowing a three-story factory. The sinkhole occurred for a combination of reasons, including Tropical Storm Agatha, the Pacaya Volcano eruption, and leakage from sewer pipes.
4. 2007 Guatemala City sinkhole, Guatemala
The 2007 Guatemala City sinkhole is a 100-metre deep sinkhole which formed in Guatemala City in 2007, due to sewage pipe ruptures. Its collapse caused the deaths of five people, and the evacuation of over a thousand. On February 23, 2007, the sinkhole collapsed, forming a very large, deep circular hole with vertical walls and killing five people. The sinkhole was created by fluid from a sewer eroding uncemented volcanic ash, limestone, and other pyroclastic deposits underlying Guatemala City.
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3. Dead Sea Sinkholes, Israel
The town of Ein Gedi in Israel is home to several thousand sinkholes. The phenomenon stems from a dire water shortage, compounded in recent years by tourism and chemical industries as well as a growing population. There were already around 3,000 open sinkholes along the coast, with experts believing that there could be twice as more that has not opened up yet.
2. Sima Humboldt (Sima Major), Venezuela
Sima Humboldt (Sima Mayor) is an enormous sinkhole located on the summit of the plateau of Sarisariñama tepui in Bolívar State, Venezuela. The sinkhole was descended for the first time in 1974 and more thoroughly explored in 1976. Its volume is 18,000,000 m(640,000,000 cu ft), with a maximum width of 352 m (1,155 ft) at its upper rim and 502 m (1,647 ft) below, and a depth of 314 m (1,030 ft).
1. Great Blue Hole, Belize
The Great Blue Hole is a giant submarine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km (43 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, 318 m (1,043 ft) across and 124 m (407 ft) deep. It was formed during several episodes of quaternary glaciation when sea levels were much lower. This is a popular spot among recreational scuba divers who are lured by the opportunity to dive in sometimes crystal-clear water and meet several species of fish, including Midnight Parrotfish, Caribbean reef shark, and other juvenile fish species. In 2012 Discovery Channel ranked the Great Blue Hole as number one on its list of “The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth“.