I can’t stop thinking about this “sink hole”…

3 Jun

…The one that swallowed a three-storey building in Guatemala City yesterday. It’s blowing my tiny brain. Imagine!

It’s absolutely fascinating isn’t it, to think that the ground just opened up in the middle of a bustling city and guzzled everything up like the gaping mouth of a giant muddy monster. Like, some heinous, vengeful creature lying dormant beneath the surface just went “Enough! I’m trying to sleep, you’re so loud, bloody human irritants, I’ve had it with you all,” and inhaled a giant breath, sucking up the annoying Earthlings and their measly buildings like a malevolent vacuum cleaner.

“Let that be a lesson to you” the monster belched, burping up the odd bit of rubble and maybe a lizard (they have lots of them in Guatemala, I think), although no one heard because they were too busy trying to clamber out the windows and grab their stuff and… well, not die.

Bloody brilliant, for all the catastrophe it caused. Geologists are apparently getting all excited about it, too, although allegedly it was forming for thousands of years before it happened – they just didn’t know when it would actually occur.

The way the “sink hole” really formed was a bit more boring, according to the geeks. It was actually due to “groundwater percolating through layers of rock in the earth’s crust”, like a coffee-maker I suppose, dissolving it and forming underground caves, thus making the soil weak on top.

I prefer the monster theory.

Makes me wonder though, where else is this happening, unseen by human eyes? Bruce Hebblewhite, head of mining engineering at the University of NSW / aka ‘Earth Nerd’ told the Sydney Morning Herald it’s “highly unlikely” a sink hole would ever form in NSW: “There might be very localised areas in this country where we have such limestone but certainly not in urban areas and it’s not common,” he said, counting down the seconds with the pesky media till he could call his friend ‘Victor the Volcano Scout’ in Nepal in order to quantify the amount of seismic energy currently powering his computer. (Probably).

Not that Guatemala has anything less to lose than say, Sydney’s CBD, or Manhattan’s Times Square, but I can’t help thinking if, say, the Empire State Building suddenly got sucked back into the Earth’s crust… what then? If Hebblewhite’s wrong and these “sink holes” / underground monster attacks do start occurring on a regular basis in cities round the world, we’re gonna lose a whole lot of really cool stuff. Insurance companies will have a field day.

And what if Sydney’s Harbour Bridge disappeared into a votex, leaving cars, buses and bridge-climbers from Belgium spinning in a sudden, mysterious waterspout right down to the volcanic core of our very planet? That would be terrible for getting to work in the morning… all those people, stranded! And who would take the blame? You can’t blame terrorism for something like that; even Bin Laden’s not that sneaky. Mother nature shows no mercy and neither do her pet monsters.

If yesterday’s disaster had happened anywhere else, something tells me we’d be hearing much, much more about it than we’ve heard about Guatemala. This terrible occurrence hasn’t even registered in most of the world’s press. I mean, go to the UK’s Guardian newspaper website and search “sink hole” and the story “A Japanese plot to wipe out the Andrex puppy simply won’t wash” pops up. How lovely!

If another “sink hole” does appear, and there’s a power out there controlling when and where the miracle occurs, may I just request it sucks up something useful next time. Something that will make the world a better place for its miraculous non-existence? I can think of a few things…

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