One of most interesting sinkholes in Maré Island is Le Bone de Léproserie. This island is rich with impressive sinkholes (see the description of another one: Trou de Bone) – from satellite images are seen some 50 large sinkholes but in reality their number is much larger.

Le Bone de Léproserie got its name from a leper colony which was located here nearby – now little remains of it. The entrance of this magnificent sinkhole is only 25 m wide. It starts as a 50 m deep well, which becomes wider with the depth. The well continues with a 40 m deep freshwater lake, which is 160 m (!) wide at its bottom.

Lake contains 350,000 m³ of water and often erroneously is considered to be the largest underground lake in the world. Many lakes in sinkholes and caves are larger, f.e. El Zacatón (Mexico) contains 9,500,000 m³ of water.

Le Bone de Leproserie on the map
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Location, GPS coordinates: 21.5622 S 168.0160 E (most likely location)
Categories: Sinkholes, Lakes and streams
Values: Geology, Visual
Rating: 2.5 out of 10 stars
Where is located? Australia and Oceania, Melanesia, New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands, southern part of Maré Island
Depth: 90 m

Landmarks of New Caledonia

Baie des Tortues, New Caledonia
Baie des Tortues / Thomas Cuelho, / CC BY 2.0
New Caledonia does not belong to mainstream tourist destinations but this Pacific island country is a true gem with many unusual landmarks. Most interesting landmarks are unique ecosystems, various karst formations and exciting fossil finds.


World's deepest sinkhole - Xiaozhai tiankeng, with tourist route visible
World’s deepest sinkhole – Xiaozhai tiankeng, with tourist route visible / Brookqi, Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Category includes outstanding sinkholes – large natural depressions or holes, which for most part represent collapsed caves.

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