An enormous sinkhole has opened up in the town of Leesburg, Fla.,, and it's hungry. It's already gobbled up a garbage bin, an oak tree, the back wall of the building housing a salon and racks of supplies. You can watch a video charting its path of destruction above.
The chasm that caused Main Street Hair and Beauty Supply to collapse is about 60 feet wide and 20 feet deep. Although the street surrounding the building has also fallen prey to the pit, officials say the hole isn't growing. But the slowly sinking building is sparking growing concern for neighbors who live nearby. The sinkhole started after a torrential downpour at the end of June.
The heavy rains lead to plenty of pits opening in central Florida.
Since the 1950s, 3,100 sinkholes have been recorded in Florida. The naturally occurring holes open up when acidic groundwater dissolves underground rock formations. At the point, the formations are no longer able to support the ground above them, causing terra firma to collapse inward.
A neighbor across the street said he heard the sinkhole before he saw it. He told the Orlando Sentinel, "It woke me up. I heard a crack, a boom. I thought it was a wreck, like someone hit a transformer or something."
The pits have certainly opened up interest on the Web. A Guatemala City hole found under a grandmother's bed this week caused lots of speculation. In fact, some sharp-eyed commenters on Yahoo! suspect the hole to be caused by an abandoned well.
For more eye-popping images, check out the slideshow below.
- terra firma
- central Florida