Sinkhole Tourism: ‘It’s Just Human Nature To Want To See The Hole’

If watching the earth open up wide and swallow itself is your thing — and it apparently is for more than a few people — western Kansas is currently the place to be. That’s where, in a pasture in Wallace County, a 200-foot-wide sinkhole has become a tourist attraction.

The Examiner’s Roz Zurko reports:

The town’s sheriff is warning people to stay away, but you know how that goes. People have to get a look at this opening supplied by Mother Nature.

The landowner is doing his best to keep people away from the sinkhole before someone gets hurt. The town officials have called in experts on sinkholes to get some advice on where to go from here as the hole grows.

Sightseer Gavin Mote told local news station KWCH 12, “I’d seen pictures and I knew it was deep, but I didn’t think it was this deep. You get out here and you get a whole different perspective on how deep it is.” Some geologists believe a mix of water and salt about 1,000 feet below the surface caused the event. Nobody is sure, though, if or when the sinkhole might expand. So those curious onlookers are all potential victims if it grows.

Potential danger, apparently, doesn’t scare sinkhole tourists. The Kansas sinkhole is just the latest to draw in tourists. Other places to check them out, according to Gadling’s Jamie Rhein, include:

Morristown, Tennessee, Sink Holes Trail in Panther Creek State Park, Morristown, Tennessee. The trail leads past seven limestone sinkholes.

Rockspring, Texas. Devil’s Sinkhole– The 360-foot deep sinkhole is Texas’s 3rd largest cave and summer home to a slew of bats. At dusk you can watch them come out in droves. Join a tour at the Rockspring Visitor’s Center.

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, 17 miles from Heber, Arizona. Sinkhole Trail-The trail leads to a sinkhole and then down into it where the landscape makes a dramatic change.

Follow the trail here to more sinkhole hotspots.

Also see: Corvette Museum Sinkhole Swallows Eight ‘Vettes: Watch Them Sink