By Haley Cohen. It was like something out of M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs. A gaping, perfectly circular sinkhole appeared Sunday in Guatemala City, devouring a three-story building in the process. The gargantuan cavity appears to be about 60 feet wide and 30 stories deep, according to National Geographic. If it wasn’t caused by aliens, how did the sinkhole form? Where did its insides go? And why the heck is it so round? We consulted David Bercovici and Mark Brandon, both professors of geology and geophysics at Yale University, to fill in the gaps in our sinkhole knowledge. Find their condensed and combined answers below.
What caused the sinkhole?
Sinkholes often appear in areas where the rock below the ground is limestone, carbonate rock, salt beds, or rocks that can be naturally dissolved by circulating ground water. As the sediment dissolves, caves and air pockets develop underneath the land surface. If there is not enough support for the land above the spaces, then the ground collapses and results in a sinkhole. Natural depressions that collect water and man-made structures such as houses and streets with poor drainage are especially vulnerable to sinkholes. Heavy rainfall, like that from Tropical Storm Agatha, only accelerates the process.
Where did all the material that used to be inside the hole go?
Most of it is eroded and washed to the bottom of the hole long before the final collapse into an open hole. When the hole opens, the surface material simply drops to the bottom.
Why the heck is it so round?
Holes often occur when the dissolution of bedrock results in a surface depression that collects water. As the depression gathers more water, the water leaks downward and eats away at more bedrock, catalyzing its further dissolution. Eventually a vertical, circular hole forms straight through the bedrock.
What is the REAL cause of the Sinkhole?
UFO? Aliens? NOPE. Very simple. It was the…..Red Hulk. A military surveillance camera captured this highly sensitive photo (see below) of the Sinkhole immediately after it appeared.
Why did the Red Hulk cause this sinkhole? I do have a theory….it probably was a matter of urgency. While leaping from country to country, Red Hulk needed to take a crap and he created a poop hole (since he used to be a Cub Scout).
Why not use a restroom? Look at the dude….he doesn’t speak spanish…how was he gonna find a can. I read in the medical journal that it is not healthy to hold it. When you gotta go…let it out! The helicopter pilot was spooked and kept a good distance (I don’t blame him as the stench was probably unbearable…you would need an industrial grade Fabreeze to mask that smell). Yes…what you are looking at below is a giant size Latrine! I just pity the fool who cleans that up!
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