Sinkholes can be astonishingly destructive. Whether naturally occurring or caused by human influence, a sinkhole is capable of swallowing whatever lies on top of it or surrounds it.
In recent years, numerous sinkholes have made headlining news, making cars, homes and even people disappear.
Sometimes, before the Earth caves in, there are warning signs, but on other occasions, there aren’t.
Take for example Jeff Bush, back in March 2013 a sinkhole suddenly opened up and swallowed up his entire bedroom in Tampa, Florida, including the bed he was sleeping on. The ground just swallowed him up.
While many people out there still believe these geological phenomena are alien crash sites, geologists inform us that sinkholes occur when limestone, carbonate rock or salt beds are dissolved by groundwater. Once dissolved, breaches form underground and eventually give way.
In the US, sinkholes are most likely to occur on the east coast, where karst topography is most prevalent. The entire state of Florida is practically limestone.
Heavy rainfall can also promote sinkholes, as can extreme drought.
Others blame the frequency that these sinkholes are appearing on drilling and fracking, though scientists have no found a link between the two.
Either way, the thought of being consumed by the Earth scares the crap out of us. That’s be such a horrible way to go.
Check out 12 of the most terrifying sinkholes from around the world in the slideshow above.