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13 amazing sinkholes

By: Laura Moss on Oct. 6, 2010, 11:22 a.m.
Rachelle Simpson of the USA dives from the 20 metre platform during the finals of the seventh and last stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving Women's World Series

Photo: Dean Treml/Red Bull/Getty Images

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Cenote Ik Kil

Cenote Ik Kil (cenote means “natural well” in Spanish) is a large sinkhole on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that’s sacred to the Mayans. The peninsula’s unique composition of porous limestone has resulted in several of these water-filled sinkholes, but Cenote Ik Kil is one of its most famous.

The hole is 90 feet deep, adorned in tropical vegetation and filled with clear blue water that Mayan royalty used for both relaxation and ritual sacrifices. This year Red Bull held its Cliff Diving World Series at the sinkhole — divers leapt from the cenote’s surface and reached speeds of 40 mph before entering the water.