Sinkhole Swallows Pond; California Chasm Appears Overnight, Leaves Property Looking ‘Like The Moon’ [VIDEO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on March 20, 2013 10:02 AM EDT

Guatemala City Sinkhole
Sinkholes, like this one in Guatemala City, usually appear after heavy rains and can grow rapidly in a matter of days. (Photo: YouTube)

A sinkhole swallowed a pond in California on Saturday, the latest high-profile chasm to make headlines in recent weeks. Mark Korb told NBC News that when he woke up Sunday he noticed that a sinkhole swallowed his pond and gave his yard an unearthly appearance.

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"This looks like the moon," said Korb.

Korb estimates that the sinkhole swallowed his pond in about five hours. According to local geologists, Korb's property exists in what used to be considered "gold country" in California. Sinkholes are commonly formed when water soluble stone like limestone erodes underneath the surface, forming a chasm that can open suddenly and without warning. However, the sinkhole that swallowed the pond was likely the result of a man-made cavity caused by mining in the region.

The sinkhole that swallowed the pond is the latest in a series of sinkhole stories to make headlines in recent weeks.

A golfer sinkhole trapped Illinois golfer Mark Mihal while he was playing a round at the the Annbriar Golf Course on March 11. As Mihal walked the fairway on the 14th hole an 18-foot sinkhole suddenly opened up beneath him. The golfer sinkhole did not seriously injure Mihal, but he suffered a dislocated shoulder after falling nearly two stories.

A Florida sinkhole swallowed a sleeping man on Feb. 28 after it suddenly opened up beneath his bedroom. Jeffrey Bush disappeared into the Florida sinkhole and his brother, Jeremy, told first responders that he heard a loud crash, and then a scream, but when he got to his brother's room everything inside had been swallowed by the Florida sinkhole.

"When he got there, there was no bedroom left," Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico told reporters. "There was no furniture. All he saw was a piece of the mattress sticking up."

Just a few days after Jeffrey Bush was swallowed by a sinkhole in Florida, a second sinkhole appeared a few miles away from Bush's home. The second sinkhole was less damaging and much smaller in size -- 12 feet round, 3 feet deep around the edge and about 5 feet deep in the center according to Hillsborough County spokesman Willie Puz.

"Oh God, it's scary, you never know what could happen," Katia Varga, who lives two doors down from the new sinkhole," told Fox News. "See it happened to that man? It happened to our neighbor; it could happen to anyone. You got to watch out and be safe."

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