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13 amazing sinkholes

By: Laura Moss on Oct. 6, 2010, 11:22 a.m.
Guatemala sinkhole 2010

Photo: STR/AP

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Guatemala City sinkhole

The sinkhole that occurred in Guatemala City in June 2010 is unique because human activity — not nature — was the likely cause of it. A burst sewer pipe probably created the underground cavity, which is 60 feet wide and 300 feet deep, according to Sam Bonis, a geologist at Dartmouth College.

Guatemala City was built in a region where the earth is composed mostly of pumice fill from past volcanic eruptions. The ground isn’t solid rock and can be easily eroded when heavy rains occur, such as during Tropical Storm Agatha, which is when this sinkhole formed.