Kansas Sinkhole, Other Sinkholes as Tourist Attractions

By Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac is an editor and reporter who has worked on a variety of topics over the course of her ten years with The Epoch Times, including science, the environment, and local New York news. She is currently working with The Epoch Times edition based in Southern California.
August 4, 2013 Updated: August 4, 2013

Kansas sinkhole: A sinkhole 200 feet across and 90 feet deep that opened in Kansas last week has curious tourists crowding around—a common phenomenon around sinkholes that can bring some revenue to towns impacted by the holes’ destruction.

Local resident Dalton Hoss, whose field was swallowed by the sinkhole, is nonetheless hoping to keep tourists away for the time being out of safety concerns, he told the Daily Mail. No injuries have been reported yet, but the hole is still growing.

Sinkholes wipe out large tracts of land all over the United States and across the world, literally leaving their mark on many towns, but also figuratively leaving their mark. They can become part of the town’s social activities, an awe-inspiring feature of the local landscape.

A sinkhole that opened up five years ago in Daisetta, Texas, was the site of a fruit festival in May. Filled with water, the hole is about 150 feet deep and 500 to 600 feet across, according to the El Paso Times, and has drawn tourists to the region.

In Robbinsdale, Minn., at the end of June, some businesses offered “sinkhole special” deals to lure customers, according to Twelve TV. Some eateries with front-row views of the phenomenon drew some customers, though business owner Debbie Ledin said road closures resulted in a net loss of customers.

In Jonesville, Fla., in June 2012, Kevin Tomlinson saw a fissure in his field, then a void where the field once was, then three or so cars an hour stopping to take a look at the void.

He told ABC-affiliate WCJB-TV that a shed had been hanging over the edge, but even after the shed was gone, people still came to take a look.

“You really can’t see anything from the road. It’s behind a locked gate, but then again, it’s just human nature to want to see the hole,” Tomlinson said.

An ancient 142-foot-deep sinkhole in Sarasota, Fla., has long drawn tourists, who are allowed to visit it 30 at a time. Hundreds of alligators fill the marshy hole, which is described by ADM Exploration Foundation as the “ultimate death trap.”

ADM sent divers in to explore what’s known as the Myakka Deep Hole. It fills with water as part of a river network in the wet season, but during dry times the hole’s water level drops drastically. Fish seek refuge from predators in its depths, but when the water drops, they find themselves trapped between a pile of alligators and cold, inhabitable, non-oxygenated water below.

Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac
Tara MacIsaac is an editor and reporter who has worked on a variety of topics over the course of her ten years with The Epoch Times, including science, the environment, and local New York news. She is currently working with The Epoch Times edition based in Southern California.