The image doesn't look real when you first see it. But video cameras have now proved that the enormous sink hole that appeared in a suburb of Guatemala City is no trick of photography. Rainfall from a hurricane that lashed the central American country in recent days was responsible for the hole, which swallowed a three-story factory last weekend. Perfectly round, it is estimated to be 60 feet wide and 30 stories deep. "The photo is so astonishing, some have thought it was photoshopped," says Frank James at NPR. But massive sinkholes — formed when water erodes underground limestone deposits — "have formed before in built-up areas of Guatemala City." Brian Donovan at True/Slant suggests that an immeasurably deep hole could actually have some benefits: "BP, meet sinkhole. Problem solved." Here's the video, shot from above:
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Guatemala's astonishing sinkhole
The sinkhole. Getty
June 3, 2010
of The Week magazine.