The hole—200 feet across and 80 feet deep—greeted residents of Schmalkalden, a town of 20,000 in the state of Thuringia, on Monday morning. Locals awoke in the early hours of morning to a deep rumble and saw this massive crater upon sunrise:
All Schmalkaldeners escaped with their lives, but the hole claimed an automobile and left several others teetering over the edges of radically reconstructed driveways.
Experts are yet to determine what caused the crater to develop, but its circular shape is characteristic of sinkholes, which are created by the dissolution of
carbonate rocks undeground. There comes a point when the dissolved rock can no longer support the weight of structures above and it is around this point when you should run for your life.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jens Meyer