Taichung, Taiwan, 1999: earthquake-opened sinkhole filled with molasses spilled from nearby storage tanks.
Sinkholes tend to appear suddenly, and while particular regions are famously prone to sinkholes they happen all over the world. Sinkholes form when the bedrock or soil underneath subsides, forcing the topsoil (or in many cases concrete) to collapse. They can be exceptionally large (several hundred meters in diameter and depth) and can swallow everything directly above. They’ve been known to “swallow” cars, homes, businesses, and other structures. (Pics)
Lighthouse Reef System, Belize, 2000: The Blue Hole is a karst-eroded sinkhole, the result of the repeated collapses of a cave system formed during lower sea level stands
Orlando, US, 2002: Emergency personnel stand by a giant sinkhole that opened up inside the Woodhill Apartment complex, forcing dozens of residents to evacuate their apartments.
New York, US, 2006: Ford Explorer sits nose-first inside a 15ft by 20ft-wide sinkhole in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn.
La Jolla, US, 2007: A massive sinkhole in the Mount Soledad neighborhood.
Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2007: A giant sinkhole, 150 metres deep and 20 metres wide, in the neighbourhood of San Antonio. The sink hole swallowed close to twenty homes and left three people missing.
Jordan, 2008: A sinkhole near the Ein Gedi Spa on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Picher, US, 2008: Years of lead and zinc mining turned the town into a superfund site with sinkholes, lead-laced mountains of rock, and tainted water.
Texas, US, 2009: The Devil’s Sinkhole, with people gathered to view bats.
Beijing, China, 2010: Workers inspect a sinkhole
Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2010: A sinkhole covers a street intersection after tropical storm Agatha hit the area
Oman: The Bimah Sinkhole, a limestone crater filled with blue-green water, is a popular visitor attraction near Qurayat