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Incredible Sinkholes Around the World

Eric Zerkel
Published: August 26, 2013

Louisiana: August,  2013

Associated Press

In this Thursday, June 27, 2013 photo, a truck hauling dirt rides along a berm set up to contain an approximate 22-acre sinkhole in Bayou Corne, La. Neighbors in the town face a wrenching decision after the sinkhole opened up near their homes: Stay or go? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

In the heart of the Louisiana bayou a super-sized sinkhole is expanding by the minute, sucking up trees, liquefying swampland, and displacing residents. But unlike traditional sinkholes, which form through natural processes, the 25 acre hole in Bayou Corne, La., formed due to human interference. Last year the petrochemical company Texas Brine drilled into a hollowed out a salt cavern in the Napoleonville Dome – a naturally occurring sub-surface salt deposit – causing  it to collapse, according to The Atlantic

Since the collapse, the sinkhole has grown in stature from one acre a year ago, to an imposing 25 acres, periodically "burping" up crude oil and debris along the way. Because of the risks associated with the site, all 350 residents of Bayou Corne were advised to evacuate, prompting fines, and lawsuits from the state of Louisiana.

The future of the sinkhole is uncertain, but officials anticipate the sinkhole will dissipate after it sucks in enough debris to fill the expanse below. 


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