Sinkhole Swallows Pond In California

Marc Korb, of Newcastle, Calif., went to bed with a pond on his property and woke up to an empty body of water. The culprit? A sinkhole.

While the West Coast doesn’t breed sinkholes as frequently as Florida (where a man and his home were engulfed by one), the dirt-eaters seem to be popping up more frequently across the country. An Illinois golfer also lost his life after being entrapped by a sinkhole last week.

Researchers say that the outbreak of sinkholes may be because of changes in drainage due to construction or agricultural irrigation from man-made crevices.

“Drought followed by heavy rains can also instigate sinkholes as heavy, water-logged earth presses down on limestone caves suddenly devoid of buoyant water. The two previous deaths attributed to sinkholes both involved professional well drillers whose activities cracked the top of limestone caverns, causing collapse,” the CS Monitor reports.

University of Florida geologist Jonathan Martin adds, “Humans can [destabilize karst landscapes] by drawing down water tables or irrigate too much, increasing the weight of the mass of materials that sits on top of the void.”

Luckily, no one was harmed by Korb’s sinkhole.

Check out a clip of the sinkhole damage above.