October 14, 2015

A brief history of sinkholes: 19 times a gateway to Hell opened in Florida

You're sitting in your living room. Netflix and chillin'. Suddenly, the Earth beneath you disappears. No, this isn't a bad acid trip. It's a sinkhole, an unfortunate reality of living in Florida.

Since we live in such a sinkhole-prone state, you'd think frack-happy utility companies would be hesitant about sticking their chemical soup into our mushy, swiss cheese land. However, in September, two Florida legislators introduced pro-fracking bills that would eliminate a community's say in how a company goes about fracking in the area. Fracking has been linked to not only sinkholes, but also earthquakes, cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

To remind us just how insane these gateways to Hell can be, here are a few of the more memorable times a Florida sinkhole has ruined someone's day.

 

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Sinkhole devastates Winter Park
May 8, 1981
By the time this bad boy stopped expanding, it was 350 feet wide and 75 feet deep. It swallowed up parts of Denning Drive and Fairbanks Avenue, as well as Mae Rose Williams’ three bedroom home. The city eventually stabilized the sinkhole with sand and water, and named it Lake Rose in Williams’ honor.
Photo via State Archives of Florida
Sinkhole devastates Winter Park
May 8, 1981

By the time this bad boy stopped expanding, it was 350 feet wide and 75 feet deep. It swallowed up parts of Denning Drive and Fairbanks Avenue, as well as Mae Rose Williams’ three bedroom home. The city eventually stabilized the sinkhole with sand and water, and named it Lake Rose in Williams’ honor.

Photo via State Archives of Florida
Sinkhole spotted at Florida State University in 1962
January 18, 1962
Female students from Florida High School took a break from their soccer game to look at this limestone sinkhole forming on FSU’s campus. A state geologist at the time claimed that a sinkhole like this 26-footer “might not be seen again in a half century.”  That geologist was wrong. 
Photo via State Archives of Florida
Sinkhole spotted at Florida State University in 1962
January 18, 1962

Female students from Florida High School took a break from their soccer game to look at this limestone sinkhole forming on FSU’s campus. A state geologist at the time claimed that a sinkhole like this 26-footer “might not be seen again in a half century.” That geologist was wrong.

Photo via State Archives of Florida
65-footer in Groveland, Fla.
August 24, 2015
Heavy rain, which is rather common in Florida, caused this Hell-mouth to show its ugly features in Groveland, Fla. This 65-footer had the potential for serious destruction, but only one person had to be evacuated from the area.
Photo via nbcmiami.com
65-footer in Groveland, Fla.
August 24, 2015

Heavy rain, which is rather common in Florida, caused this Hell-mouth to show its ugly features in Groveland, Fla. This 65-footer had the potential for serious destruction, but only one person had to be evacuated from the area.

Photo via nbcmiami.com
Lake Jackson near Tallahassee, Fla.
September 16, 1999
In 1999, Mother Nature decided to pull the plug on Lake Jackson. An 8-foot wide, 12-foot deep sinkhole swallowed many of the lake’s fish and amphibious creatures and put a screeching half to all of the skiing, boating and fishing that took place at Lake Jackson.
Photo via dailykos.com
Lake Jackson near Tallahassee, Fla.
September 16, 1999

In 1999, Mother Nature decided to pull the plug on Lake Jackson. An 8-foot wide, 12-foot deep sinkhole swallowed many of the lake’s fish and amphibious creatures and put a screeching half to all of the skiing, boating and fishing that took place at Lake Jackson.

Photo via dailykos.com
Sinkhole devours 160-foot stretch of Deltona road
December 20, 2004
Good luck getting anywhere in this stretch of Deltona. A huge sinkhole destroyed all four lanes of this road, and experts estimate this it'll take 100,000 truckloads of sand to fill the crater left behind by this natural disaster.
Photo via iamhrishabhkashyap.blogspot.com
Sinkhole devours 160-foot stretch of Deltona road
December 20, 2004

Good luck getting anywhere in this stretch of Deltona. A huge sinkhole destroyed all four lanes of this road, and experts estimate this it'll take 100,000 truckloads of sand to fill the crater left behind by this natural disaster.

Photo via iamhrishabhkashyap.blogspot.com
Massive sinkhole opens up in Orange City, Fla.
January 10, 2005
A 110-foot wide sinkhole completely destroyed the home of a young mother in Orange City, Fla. while also heavily damaging the neighboring house. Luckily, the mother and her baby weren't home when the sinkhole opened up.
Photo via wftv.com
Massive sinkhole opens up in Orange City, Fla.
January 10, 2005

A 110-foot wide sinkhole completely destroyed the home of a young mother in Orange City, Fla. while also heavily damaging the neighboring house. Luckily, the mother and her baby weren't home when the sinkhole opened up.

Photo via wftv.com
Summer Bay Resort collapses
August 13, 2013
All it took was a 15-foot deep crater to make this building crumble. Due to its proximity to Disney, tourists flock to this resort. All 35 residents in the afflicted Building 104 managed to escape before it took its final tumble.
Photo via wesh.com
Summer Bay Resort collapses
August 13, 2013

All it took was a 15-foot deep crater to make this building crumble. Due to its proximity to Disney, tourists flock to this resort. All 35 residents in the afflicted Building 104 managed to escape before it took its final tumble.

Photo via wesh.com
Swimming pool and boat eaten by sinkhole in Dunedin, Fla.
November 14, 2013
Nothing brings people together like a sinkhole. This 70-foot wide sinkhole sucked one home's porch and 14-foot boat into its depths. The sinkhole also destroyed the neighbor's master bedroom and swimming pool. City officials condemned both homes and evacuated six other houses.
Photo by Luke Johnson via nbcnews.com
Swimming pool and boat eaten by sinkhole in Dunedin, Fla.
November 14, 2013

Nothing brings people together like a sinkhole. This 70-foot wide sinkhole sucked one home's porch and 14-foot boat into its depths. The sinkhole also destroyed the neighbor's master bedroom and swimming pool. City officials condemned both homes and evacuated six other houses.

Photo by Luke Johnson via nbcnews.com
Sinkhole in Seffner, Fla. swallows man
March 5, 2013
Jeff Bush was in his bedroom when suddenly a sinkhole opened up right under him. His brother, Jeremy, claims that he heard Jeff screaming for help, but by the time he got there all he found was a hole. Jeff's body was never discovered.
Photo via cnn.com
Sinkhole in Seffner, Fla. swallows man
March 5, 2013

Jeff Bush was in his bedroom when suddenly a sinkhole opened up right under him. His brother, Jeremy, claims that he heard Jeff screaming for help, but by the time he got there all he found was a hole. Jeff's body was never discovered.

Photo via cnn.com
Seffner sinkhole reopens
August 19, 2015
The sinkhole that swallowed Jeff Bush in 2013 reopened two years later, bigger and scarier than ever. However, authorities say that the 20-diameter hole poses no danger to nearby residents because the county bought the property on top of the sinkhole and the home right next to it.
Photo via Twitter
Seffner sinkhole reopens
August 19, 2015

The sinkhole that swallowed Jeff Bush in 2013 reopened two years later, bigger and scarier than ever. However, authorities say that the 20-diameter hole poses no danger to nearby residents because the county bought the property on top of the sinkhole and the home right next to it.

Photo via Twitter