Sinkholes – which are often defined as a depression or hole in the ground caused by some form of collapse to the surface layer – are a natural phenomenon that can be found all around the world. These gigantic holes are often breathtaking due to their rather impressive size as they can often vary from as little as 1 meter wide to over a staggering 600 meters.
Although they may have a rather intriguing appearance, sinkholes have not only caused significant – often unrepairable – damage to many cities but they have also caused loss of thousands of lives as they often occur very suddenly, without any warning at all. And, despite the fact that they can occur at any time, the scariest thing about sinkholes is that they continually grow in size due to the effects of erosion.
However, sinkholes haven’t always been the cause of some of the world’s most gigantic holes as many are usually the result of man-made creations, natural gas explosions, or even mysterious formations that still to this day, leave scientists baffled and confused. Some of these mysterious holes have even attracted many conspiracy theories such as military missile training, to even extra-terrestrial activity
From terrifying city swallowing sinkholes to vibrant natural formations, here are fifteen of the strangest holes that you can find on this earth.
15. Great Blue Hole – Belize
Each and every year thousands of divers’ flock to one of the most spectacular sinkhole’s to-date, the Great Blue Hole. Located just 60 miles off the coast of Belize, the giant circular shaped hole measures at over 300 meters wide and over 125 meters deep.
The giant sinkhole is currently believed to have originally formed as a limestone cave during the last glacial period when sea levels were significantly lower. However, as the sea levels started to rise, the cave began to collapse, creating a giant vertical cave in the ocean.
Often characterized by its famous blue colors and rich coral environments that surround the giant hole, it’s no wonder that this particular location often appears on many diver’s bucket lists. For those lucky enough to dive the Great Blue Hole, don’t be surprised if you see the ever so famous Caribbean Reef Sharks as they circle the depths of the underwater hole.
14. The Glory Hole – Monticello Dam, California
It should come as no surprise that The Glory Hole makes an appearance on this list, as it is arguably one of the world’s most famous holes. Despite having not been used in recent years, The Glory Hole was constructed between 1953 and 1957 in order to maintain a safe capacity level.
Thankfully though, after some rather intense and much needed rainfall in February 2017, a number of lucky viewers were able to capture water entering the famous spillway for the first time since 2006.
However, despite how inviting it may look, swimming near The Glory Hole is strictly prohibited as its surrounding waters are notoriously known for their extremely strong currents. So much so, that in 1997 the famous hole claimed the life of a woman who was caught in the current while swimming near the area. After clinging to the edge of the spillway for 20 minutes, the woman was tragically swept down the pipe.