August 22, 2013, 10:43 AM —
Image credit: Flickr/PAULHAMI
Sinkholes are one of those powerful forces of nature that, like tornadoes, are best appreciated from afar.
While tornadoes are dangerous because they move with incredible speed and fury, sinkholes tend to stay in one place, which is fortunate. On the unfortunate side of the ledger, sinkholes don't always give you a lot of warning before they start swallowing whatever's above them.
But some guys had a videocamera running on a lake in Assumption Parish in southern Louisiana on Wednesday when an existing underwater sinkhole widened and swallowed several tall trees in just a few seconds.
According to a local newspaper, the "sinkhole has been growing since it emerged from the swamps sometime late on Aug. 2 or early on Aug. 3, 2012, as the suspected result of a salt dome cavern failure deep underground months beforehand."
The video is embedded below. The trees begin to move very slowly about 15 seconds in -- it's almost imperceptible -- but by 41 seconds they're fully submerged. It's pretty amazing.
You also can see where local officials had marked off the edge of the sinkhole, which is now about 25 acres large. The trees that fell were just outside the floating cable that designated the border of the sinkhole.