These next sinkholes are anything but average and you’ll definitely be thinking by the end of this article – what the heck is at the bottom? From deep blue holes in the middle of the ocean to one’s smack bam in the middle of a bustling city, you won’t believe they’re real!
13. The “Door to Hell” (Turkmenistan)
In 1971 Soviet geologists were drilling in the area of one of the largest deposits of natural gas. To prevent the spread of methane gas, which was going from the ground, the geologists set it on fire. They hoped it would burn out in a week or so. The “Door to Hell” has been burning continuously for over 40 years since then. At the moment the crater diameter is almost 70 meters (230 ft) and its depth is over 30 meters (98 ft). The craters area is as big as football field. The burning hole is a popular tourist attraction.
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12. The Well Of Chand Baori (India)
Have you seen “The Dark Knight Rises”? If so, then you might recognize this place. This well was used as a Batman’s prison in the movie. Chand Baori is a 13 story water well with 3500 steps. It was build between AD 800 and AD 900. The design of the well allows the air temperature at the bottom remain 5-6 degrees lower than at the surface. Chand Baori was used s a gathering place during extreme heat.
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11. The Guatamala City Sinkhole (Guatemala)
In 2010 this huge hole suddenly appeared in the middle of the city. This sinkhole was a disaster taking a three-story factory building and lives of 15 people. The cause is related to the recent eruption of Volcano Pacaya followed by a tropical storm. The city’s sewer system couldn’t handle the vast amount of water from the storm. The sewer pipes started leaking and eroded volcanic ash and other deposits from under Guatemala City. This is not the first occurrence of such an event in the city. In 2007 another 100-meter deep sinkhole formed taking lives of five people. The risk of formation of another sinkholes in Guatemala City is high and unpredictable.
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10. Siberian Craters (Russia)
The crater was accidentally discovered in 2014. It is located in the remote area of Siberia known as The End Of The World. The crater is 200 ft (61 m) in diameter. Later scientists found two more craters in the area. They concluded that craters were not caused by sinkholes but something must have exploded from beneath.
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9. Indiana Dunes National Park (Indiana, United States)
Sinkholes in sandy dunes is another recent discovery. Shifting sands in the Indiana Dunes park suddenly opened a sinkhole under travelers’ feet. A 6-year old boy fell inside a sinkhole and was found 11 feet (3.3 m) down the sand. He was buried under sand for three hours but luckily he survived. Geologists have conducted a number of tests in the area but still cannot explain the cause of the phenomena. Park officials indefinitely closed Indiana Dune due to the safety concerns.
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8. Devil’s Sinkhole (Texas, United States)
This huge vertical hole is 15 m (50 ft) wide and 122 m (400 ft) deep. The cavern was first discovered in 1876. Currently it is home to enormous colony of Mexican free-tailed bats. Devil’s Sinkhole is a popular tourists destination. People come here from April to October to observe flying bats at sunset.
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7. “Dragon Hole” (China)
Scientists recently discovered the word’s deepest underwater sinkhole. It is located in a coral reef in the South China Sea. It sinks to 300.9 m (987 ft) beating the second deepest Blue Hole in the Bahamas (202 m). The sinkhole called “Dragon Hole” by locales. The depth of the sinkhole was explored with an underwater robot. There is plenty of fish in the upper levels of the blue hole . However at 100 m (328 ft) deep there is almost no oxygen in the water. That means there is likely no life at the bottom. Chinese government is planning to protect the blue hole.
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6. Deans Blue Hole, The Bahamas
Deans Blue Hole is officially the deepest blue hole (underwater sinkhole) in in the world. With an impressive depth of over 660 feet, just imagine what kind of creatures lurk beneath the crystal clear water… Although from above it looks relatively narrow, after about 60 feet it widens to an impressive 330 feet! It is a favourite spot amongst divers and one free diver even made it halfway to the bottom back in 2010!
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5. Xiaozhai Tiankeng, China
Xiaozhai Tiankeng is nicknamed the “Heavenly Pit” and is the largest sinkhole in the world! At an astonishing 2,000 feet deep and complete with an underground river and cave. It’s discovery in 1994 sent adrenaline junkies flocking to the area. It’s also home to rare species of animals including the clouded leopard, this isn’t your average sink hole!
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4. Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman
Bimmah Sinkhole is sometimes referred to as the most beautiful sinkhole in the world. While it’s only 60 feet deep it has exquisite turquoise waters and is a massive tourist attraction.
Locals believe the sinkhole formed by a falling star or meteorite that penetrated the limestone and over time the sinkhole developed into what it is today. The government even set up a national park just to protect the hole!
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3. The Dead Sea Sinkholes, Israel
The Dead Sea Sinkholes, of Israel look eerily like they were formed by aliens! While most of the sinkholes on the list formed naturally these ones are actually the result of severe droughts in the area forcing the ground to collapse. There are believed to be around 3,000 holes throughout the desert and more continue to form. Hopefully for the Israeli tourism board they continue since the holes have become a serious attraction.
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2. Kimberly Big Hole, South Africa
Kimberly Big Hole is different from the other sinkholes on the list since it was actually man made. Prior to 1914 it was a successful diamond mine before it was shut down and turned into a popular tourist hot spot. Around 22.5 million tonnes of soil and dirt was removed to create the mine. Oh and it’s over 3,000 feet deep!
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1. Monticello Dam Hole (California, United States)
This cool spill hole, known as the Glory Hole, is a part of the Monticello Dam. This is the largest spill hole in the world. The hole is 22 meters (72 ft) in diameter at the lake level and narrows town to 8.5 m (28ft) at the exit. The spill hole is used as an overflow channel. It leads down 93 m (904 ft) and drains at the bottom of the dam. The last time the reservoir spilled through was in 2006. When it is not in use bikers and skateboarders use the bottom of the hole as the half pipe.
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