Deep craters are formed on Earth, into which houses fall

In March 2013, the American state of Florida was shocked by frightening news. A man named Jeff Bush from the Seffner settlement was sleeping peacefully in his house and suddenly fell into a huge crater that formed right under his room. His brother heard a loud bang and scream and then rushed to help. But already in the corridor he saw that his relative’s bedroom was no longer there, as was he. Instead of a room next to the house there was only ahole with a diameter of about 6 metersThe man tried to save his screaming brother, but the ground around him began to collapse and he was persuaded not to risk it. Rescuers were never able to save Jeff Bush; they weren't even able to find the fallen furniture. The man was declared dead and the house uninhabitable. Therefore, it was demolished and the hole was buried along with the body that was not found. The worst thing is that such an accidental tragedy can happen to many families and their homes.

Deep craters form on Earth, into which houses fall. In some rocks, voids form, which over time cause the destruction of buildings. Photo.

Some rocks form voids, which over time cause the destruction of buildings


  • 1 What is a sinkhole
  • 2 Where are sinkholes formed
  • 3 The largest sinkholes
  • 4 Sinkhole houses into a sinkhole

What is a sinkhole

The hole into which a Florida resident fell is calledsinkholesThey can form anywhere as a result of the dissolution of underground rocks. This usually occurs due to the penetration of water into the rocks, which is rich in various chemicals. Over the years, it fills pores in limestone, marble, etc., causing voids to form in the earth's crust.

What is a karst sinkhole? Karst sinkholes can reach huge sizes - sometimes their bottom is not visible. Photo.

Karst sinkholes can reach enormous sizes – sometimes the bottom is not visible

When empty spaces become too large, sinkholes form on the surface of the earth. They can be of different diameters and depths, and often we are really talking about small holes. But sometimes, as is the case in Florida, karst sinkholes extend for several meters and are so deep that objects in them disappear without a trace.

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Where do sinkholes form?

Most often, sinkholes form in places rich in limestone– there is especially a lot of it in the state of Florida. This rock is very susceptible to destruction in water because it is composed of soluble minerals and has a porous structure. Also, sinkholes often form in tropical regions of the Earth. The fact is that it often rains heavily there, and even fairly strong rocks quickly dissolve. This may surprise many, but sinkholes also form in deserts. It rains very rarely there, but if it starts, there is a lot of precipitation.

Where karst sinkholes are formed. A sinkhole in a desert area. Photo.

Karst sinkhole in a desert area

This may surprise many, but sinkholes also form in deserts. It rains very rarely there, but if it starts, there is a lot of precipitation.

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The largest sinkholes

There are many large sinkholes in the world that are clearly visible only from a bird's eye view.

For example, in the coastal waters of the Caribbean Sea there is the Great Blue Hole.It has a diameter of 300 meters and goes to a depth of 124 meters. This formation was discovered only in the second half of the 20th century by the French explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. He included this place in the list of 10 best places for diving.

The largest sinkholes. The Great Blue Hole on the Caribbean coast. Photo.

The Great Blue Hole on the Caribbean coast

In the south of Croatia there is a Red Lake– a karst sinkhole filled with water. No one knows when exactly it appeared, but its formation is definitely related to the destruction of the upper part of the underground cave. The funnel itself has a depth of 530 meters, and the fresh water lake itself goes further to a depth of 287 meters. The name of this formation is due to the fact that its rocks are colored reddish due to the presence of a high concentration of iron oxide.

The largest sinkholes. Red Lake in Croatia. Photo.

Red Lake in Croatia

Turkmenistan has the most frightening karst funnel – Darvaza. It is also known as the “Gate of Hell” because the fire there has not gone out for over 50 years. Natural gas had accumulated in this hole, 70 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep, for many years. In the 1970s, Soviet scientists decided to set it on fire in the hope that the gas would burn out in a couple of days. However, the fire is still burning, but scientists are looking for a way to put it out.

The largest karst sinkholes. Darvaza sinkhole in Turkmenistan. Photo.

Darvaza karst sinkhole in Turkmenistan

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Failure of a house into a karst sinkhole

Sometimes entire houses fall into karst sinkholes. You already know about the case in Florida, there is another story.

In June 2021, a sinkhole appeared in the Mexican state of Puebla. At first it was far from residential buildings, but gradually its size increased. As a result, one of the houses began to fall into the funnel. It is believed that its growth was associated with rainy weather – the diameter of the hole was more than 123 meters.

Failure of a house into a karst sinkhole. Karst sinkhole near a house under construction. Photo.

Karst sinkhole near a house under construction

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The family that lived in the house consisted of four people: a husband, a wife and two children. Fortunately, the collapse happened gradually, and they all survived. They invested most of their savings into building the house and began living in it shortly before the destruction. The state authorities decided to give the family a new plot and pay for the construction of a new house.