Massive ‘mysterious’ sinkhole splits New Zealand farm into two
A dairy farm at a New Zealand Town has been split in two after a giant sinkhole appeared on the land overnight.
The amazing sight appeared on the farm near the town of Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand, where rock deposits from a 60,000-year-old volcano have become visible to the naked eye.
A jagged hole had opened up overnight. It cut a scar across the verdant landscape, dropping 66 feet deep and yawning 656 feet long. Anyone who stood at the edge of the grass and looked down into the crevice would be peering into thousands of years of geological history.
Farm manager Colin Tremain told Newshub television he didn’t realise just how big the hole was until he saw it in the daylight.
He says the area often develops sinkholes due to degrading limestone rock beneath the ground’s surface.
GNS Science vulcanologist Brad Scott told Newshub the sinkhole was three times larger than any he’d seen before. He says an underground cavity would have developed over decades.
Tremain says he’s planning to install a fence so livestock don’t fall into the sinkhole.
These types of collapse holes are common in the region, notes GeoNet, a project of New Zealand’s Earthquake Commission. The area sits near volcanic faults, and on the crater of a volcano that erupted some 60,000 years ago. Soft, pumice-strewn soils are one lingering consequence of this long-ago explosion. When rain pelts the area, as it did last week, it can burrow cavities into the soil.