List of 10 most impressive sinkholes

The giant sinkholes of Earth belong to the most impressive natural landmarks.

Wondermondo offers unique list of 10 most impressive sinkholes of the world - deepest, most capacious and most unusual ones. Sinkholes are listed in alphabetic order.

Cross section of South Andros Black Hole
Cross section of South Andros Black Hole in south - north direction, compared with Boeing 747-400 / Gatis Pāvils, basing on S.Schwabe, R.A.Herbert, 2005, CC-BY-SA-3.0

1. Andros Black Hole

Location: Bahamas, South Andros
Depth: 47 m
Volume: ?

Black holes are the only formations known in the world where microorganisms have increased the temperature of water - in Andros Black Hole it reaches 40°C. Approximately 300 m wide and up to 47 m deep round karst formation.

Crveno Jezero sinkhole
Crveno Jezero sinkhole / Tieum512, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

2. Crveno Jezero - Red Lake

Location: Croatia, Split-Dalmatia
Depth: 530 m
Volume: 30 million m³

One of the largest and most impressive sinkholes in the world with nearly vertical walls. Contains 280 - 290 m deep lake with endemic species of fish.

Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas
Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas / Ton Engwirda , Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-3.0 Netherlands

3. Dean's Blue Hole

Location: Bahamas, Long Island
Depth: 202 - 203 m
Volume: 1,1 million m³?

Dean's Blue Hole is the deepest known blue hole in sea. It is used in yearly world championship of freedivers and numerous world records are set here.

El Zacaton sinkhole, Mexico
Cross section of El Zacaton sinkhole, compared with Boeing 747-400 / Gatis Pāvils, compilation of DEPTX mapping (2007) and M.O.Gary and J.M.Sharp Jr., CC-BY-SA-3.0

4. El Zacatón sinkhole

Location: Mexico, Tamaulipas
Depth: 339 m
Volume: 10 million m³

The second deepest water filled sinkhole in the world. Total depth of sinkhole is 339 m, lake is 319 m deep. On the surface of lake there are floating several round travertine islands. Lake is formed by volcanically heated acidic groundwater.

Great Blue Hole, Belize
Great Blue Hole, Belize / Chris Alnatt, , public domain

5. Great Blue Hole

Location: Belize, Belize District
Depth: 124 m
Volume: ?

Belize, Belize District

124 m deep, perfectly round, submerged, deep blue sinkhole in the middle of atoll. At the depth of 40 metres contains numerous stalactites which provide valuable information about the past of Earth climate.

Minye sinkhole, Papua New Guinea
Cross section of Minyé sinkhole / Gatis Pāvils, basing on T.Waltham, 2006, CC-BY-SA-3.0

6. Minyé sinkhole and cave

Location: Papua New Guinea, East New Britain
Depth: 510 m
Volume: 26 million m³

Giant sinkhole in equatorial jungle. Below it is crossed by powerful underground river, opening entrances into enormous, at least 5.4 km long cave with some of the largest cave chambers in the world.

Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel, Venezuela
Sima Humboldt in the middle part of picture and Sima Martel in the far background / Photo taken in 1992 by Luis Ruiz Berti, public domain

7. Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel

Location: Venezuela, Bolívar state
Depth: 314 m and 248 m
Volume: 21 million m³ (Sima Humboldt)

Some of the oldest and most unique sinkholes in the world. Both sinkholes have formed in extremely resistant sandstone over the course of hundreds of millions of years. Bottom of sinkholes contains patches of unique rainforest with endemic, little explored species.

Caver rappelling down into the Sótano de las Golondrinas
Caver rappelling down into the Sótano de las Golondrinas / Stubb, Wikimedia Commons, Free Art License

8. Sótano de las Golondrinas - Cave of the Swallows

Location: Mexico, San Luis Potosí
Depth: 372 m
Volume: 5 million m³

Sinkhole with enormous, 372 m deep entrance hole and characteristic swarms of birds spiralling up the shaft every morning.

9. Teiq sinkhole

Location: Oman, Dhofar Governorate
Depth: 250 m
Volume: 90 million m³

One of the largest sinkholes in the world with volume of 90 million m³, width 750 - 1000 m. Two perennial streams enter this sinkhole and disappear underground. This giant pit is especially impressive due to high perennial waterfalls falling into it.

Xiaozhai tiankeng, China
Cross section of Xiaozhai tiankeng, compared with Boeing 747-400 / Gatis Pāvils, basing on T.Waltham, 2006, CC-BY-SA-3.0

10. Xiaozhai tiankeng

Location: China, Chongqing Municipality
Depth: 662 m
Volume: 119.349 million m³

Largest known sinkhole in the world, up to 662 m deep and 626 m wide pit with vertical walls. On the bottom grows unique forest.

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