Top 10 most impressive sinkholes of the world

List of 10 most impressive sinkholes

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

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

1. Andros Black Hole

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
Location:Bahamas, South Andros
Depth:47 m

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.

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2. Crveno Jezero - Red Lake

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

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.

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

3. Dragon Hole

Dragon Hole, Paracel Islands
Dragon Hole with expedition vessels / screenshot from The Cosmos News Youtube video
Location:South China Sea, Paracel Islands
Depth:300.89 m

Currently the deepest known underwater sinkhole (blue hole) is Dragon Hole - 300.89 m deep hole in a shallow shoal in Paracel Islands.

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4. El Zacatón sinkhole

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

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.

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

5. Great Blue Hole

Great Blue Hole, Belize
Great Blue Hole, Belize / Chris Alnatt,, public domain
Location:Belize, Belize District
Depth:124 m

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.

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6. Minyé sinkhole and cave

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

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7. Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel

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

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.

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

8. Sótano de las Golondrinas - Cave of the Swallows

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

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

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

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.

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10. Xiaozhai tiankeng

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
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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Other articles about sinkholes


Category includes outstanding sinkholes - large natural depressions or holes, which for most part represent collapsed caves.

Most sinkholes are formed by karst processes - by natural solution of carbonate (f.e. limestone, dolomite), sulphide (f.e. gypsum) and salt rocks. Solution process is initiated by water.

List of described sinkholes

List of sinkholes described in this website.

List of the largest sinkholes of the world

Unique review of the largest sinkholes of the world - deepest, most capacious and most unusual ones. Tncludes table of world's largest naturally formed sinkholes which are well pronounced (f.e. NOT included gently sloping valleys e.g. mega-dolines) and at least 150 m deep.

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