Monday, 25 March 2013

News, Science & Idioms: What Is A Sinkhole?

In the spring of 1981, a woman's house and part of a car dealership were swallowed by a sinkhole in Winter Park, Fla
Image from AP, caption by WWNO
Not easy to find a topic that interests me these days. Have been trying very hard the whole week and finally got one -- Sinkhole.

What is a sinkhole? According to Wikipedia's definition,

A sinkhole, also known as a sink, snake hole, swallow hole, swallet, or doline, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth's surface caused by karst processes—for example, the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes in sandstone. 

But there are exceptions, like the one mentioned in the following video.


The power of Mother Nature is known to be explosive (volcanoes), earth-shaking (earthquakes), stormy (typhoons / hurricanes, tornadoes, snow storms) and wave-crushing (tsunamis), yet hollowing (sinkholes) is seldom mentioned. It could be the fact that the number of casualty is usually much smaller in the case of a sinkhole, but that doesn't mean sinkholes don't kill.



In fact, sinkholes are the silent killers and there is almost nothing anyone can do to predict their appearances, and in terms of spread, sinkholes are found worldwide, unlike the other destructive forces mentioned above. Check out the following videos for the May 2010 Guatemala Sinkhole and February 2013 in Guangzhou, China.


100-foot deep, 66-foot wide -- "The Guatemala Sinkhole"
Image from Discovery News
A sinkhole can be a silent serial killer, but it can also be a fun tourist agent too!

How's that possible? Well, they are adventurers and divers' paradise, that's how! Here are some of the famous sinkholes around the world.

The Great Blue Hole, near Belize City, Belize, Central America
Image from Wikipedia
The Great Blue Hole, near Belize City, Belize, Central America -- 124m deep, 300m wide.

Ik-Kil, Municipality of Tinúm, Yucatán, Mexico
Image from blogspot
Ik-Kil, Municipality of Tinúm, Yucatán, Mexico -- 40m deep

Xiaozhai tiankeng , Chongqing, China
Image from chinanavigation
Xiaozhai tiankeng – Chongqing Municipality, China -- 662m deep.

Crveno Jezero (Red Lake), Croatia
Image from Wikipedia
Crveno Jezero (Red Lake), Croatia -- 530m deep.

Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas
Image from beaches.uptake
Dean's Blue Hole, west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas -- 203m

Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows), Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
Image from media.salon
Sótano de las Golondrinas (Cave of Swallows), Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico -- 372m deep

Sima de las Cotorras, Ocozocoautla, Chiapas, Mexico
Image from 
Sima de las Cotorras, Ocozocoautla, Chiapas, Mexico -- 410m deep

Zacatón,  Tamaulipas, Mexico
Image from geology
Zacatón, Tamaulipas, Mexico -- 319m deep

Kingsley Lake,
Image from gohydrology
Kingsley Lake, Florida, USA. -- 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) in area, 90 ft (27 m) deep


Finally, I'm letting you go with a few idioms with the word "sink" and "hole"


Idioms of "sink"
sink like a stone (also sink like a lead balloon) -- to attract no support, attention, or interest:
eg. John suggested we go hiking last Sunday morning, but that sank like a stone.

sink or swim -- If someone leaves you to sink or swim, they give you no help so that you succeed or fail completely by your own efforts:
eg. You will be no assistance from the sales team, it's sink or swim.

sink without (a) trace informal -- to be forgotten about completely, or to not attract any attention or interest:
eg. Her thoughts about his ex-boyfriend seems to have sunk without a trace after dating this new girl.


Idioms of "hole"
need sth like you need a hole in the head -- humorous to not need or want something at all:
eg. I don't want cheese, I hate cheese! I need cheese like I need a hole in the head!

be in the hole -- US informal to be in debt:
eg. David will so be in the hole after he buys that apartment!

make a hole in sth -- UK to reduce an amount of money by a lot: 
eg. The handbag I bought for my girlfriend had made a hole in my wallet.



Vocabulary:
sinkhole -- (n)[C]  also known as a sinksnake holeswallow holeswallet, or doline, is a natural depression or hole in the Earth's surface caused by karst processes—for example, the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes in sandstone. 


Resources:

The Abnormally Normal Science Of Sinkholes @ WWNO
http://www.wwno.org/post/abnormally-normal-science-sinkholes

Sinkhole
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinkhole

Newcastle couple wakes to find sinkhole in yard @ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGgYRajeHSU

New Sinkhole in Florida Town Puts Residents on Edge @ YouTube
http://youtu.be/krHezQZ9Rpk

Don't Call The Guatemala Sinkhole a Sinkhole @ Discovery News
http://news.discovery.com/earth/dont-call-the-guatemala-sinkhole-a-sinkhole.htm

How Scary Sinkholes Are Formed @ YouTube
http://youtu.be/tQvv8YFCGsY

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/sink-like-a-stone_1
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/sink-or-swim
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/sink-without-a-trace
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/need-sth-like-you-need-a-hole-in-the-head
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/be-in-the-hole
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/make-a-hole-in-sth



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