The Upshot
  • A sinkhole formed in a house on July 19, 2011 in the north of Guatemala City. (Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images)Here's something you never want to hear: "That loud booming sound is coming from inside the house!"

    That's what one Inocenta Hernandez from Guatemala City learned after a sudden noise caused her to run outside, thinking there had been an explosion nearby. When she realized the problem was inside her home, she returned to find a gaping, three feet wide, 40 feet deep sinkhole beneath her bed.

    Hernandez, 65, was relieved that the damage was only to her house, and hadn't harmed her grandchildren, who had been playing near the bed. This was a little too close to home, but she couldn't have been too surprised that a sinkhole had visited her city.

    Guatemala City is prone to spawning giant pits, which are often caused by tropical rain storms. Sinkholes are natural depressions in the earth that can range anywhere from a few feet to hundreds of acres wide, and measure a shallow foot to 100 feet deep.

    Another view of the sink hole (Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images)

    A massive chasm opened up in Guatemala City back in May 2010; it swallowed up whole buildings

    Read More »from That sinking feeling: Woman finds giant sinkhole under her bed

  • Here's a big idea: Writing your name in the sand so large that it can be seen from space. Of course, you're much better position to carry off this sort of vanity project if you're Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Ahyan, a super-rich Arab sheikh who is the president of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. He also happens to own an island--an ideal canvas for what is essentially the world's largest self-referential graffiti tag.

    The letters were crafted by a crew who worked for weeks to create them. The inscription measures half a mile high and two miles long--and the letters are dug so deep that they form waterways. The writing won't be immediately washed away, but even Hamad--whose fortune is only surpassed by his monarchial rival in the region, Saudi King Abdullah--can only defy the elements for so long.

    Read More »from Man’s name in sand visible from space
  • Move over, Montauk Monster. Step aside, Nessie. There's a new sea creature in town--maybe. Footage of a 20- to 30-foot long creature caught on tape by fishermen suggest we have an Alaska bonafide marine-creature mystery.

    The black and white footage from 2009 is by no means definitive. It is taken on a rainy day with a shaky camera, which make it all the more confounding. But you can check out the testimony of people who say they witnessed the creature's appearance in the video above.

    The Alaska-dwelling creature has been labeled a "Cadborosaurus willsi," which means "reptile" or "lizard" from Cadboro Bay, British Columbia, where it was originally spotted centuries ago. Called "Caddy" for short, it has a "long neck, a horse-like head, large eyes, and back bumps that stick out of the water," according to a report on MSNBC.

    Though the tape captures the most recent sighting, tales of beholding the creature in the North Pacific have circulated for 200 years. In 1937, scientists thought

    Read More »from The Loch Ness Monster of Alaska?


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