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Top 10 Amazing and Record-Breaking Sinkholes Around the World

by Toby Oliva
fact checked by Rachel Jones

Welcome, fellow adventurers, to a journey through some of the world’s most fascinating sinkholes! Sinkholes are nature’s way of showing off, and these geological wonders never fail to impress. These mysterious openings in the ground have captured the imaginations of people around the world.

Some sinkholes are filled with crystal-clear water, perfect for swimming or diving, while others are home to unique ecosystems and rare plant and animal species. Whether you’re an avid adventurer or just looking for some natural beauty to explore on your next trip, these sinkholes are sure to leave you in awe. So strap on your hiking boots, grab your sunblock, and get ready for a journey through some of the most famous sinkholes around the world.

Related: 10 Deadliest Places to Scuba Dive

10 The Great Blue Hole, Belize

Exploring a GIANT Underwater Sinkhole in Belize!

The Great Blue Hole is a giant underwater sinkhole off the coast of Belize, and it’s one of the most famous dive sites in the world. The hole is over 1,000 feet (305 meters) across and 400 feet (122 meters) deep. It’s a natural wonder that’s as mesmerizing as it is mysterious.

It’s located off the coast of Belize, but the real magic of the Great Blue Hole is what’s inside. Divers can explore its crystal-clear waters and discover a whole world of marine life, from colorful fish to coral reefs.

And let’s not forget the eerie beauty of the sinkhole itself. The deep blue water, the jagged edges, and the dark depths create an otherworldly atmosphere that’s straight out of a sci-fi movie. It doesn’t help that it holds the bodies of hundreds of divers who’ve died down there.

So if you’re looking for an adventure that’s equal parts breathtaking and spooky, head over to the Great Blue Hole in Belize. Grab your scuba gear and get going!

9 Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas

Anna freediving Dean’s Blue Hole

Dean’s Blue Hole is one of the world’s deepest known underwater sinkholes, reaching a depth of over 656 feet (200 meters). That’s deeper than the Empire State Building is tall! Located in Long Island, the Bahamas, it’s a popular spot that many adventure seekers find alluring.

But what really sets Dean’s Blue Hole apart is the fact that it’s a hot spot for freediving. That’s right; people are diving down into these depths without any breathing apparatus. Talk about crazy! But several world records have been set there.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a professional freediver to enjoy the beauty of Dean’s Blue Hole. Visitors can swim, snorkel, or just lounge on the beach and take in the stunning views.

So if you want to dive into the deep blue, take a trip to Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas. Just don’t forget to come up for air!

8 Xiaozhai Tiankeng, China

the Largest Sinkhole in the WORLD | Touring Chongqing

Xiaozhai Tiankeng is the world’s largest sinkhole, measuring over 1,968 feet (600) meters across and over 1,640 feet (500 meters) deep. It’s located in the Chongqing region of China.

Located in the Chongqing Municipality, the record-breaking Xiaozhai Tiankeng sinkhole stands out as an extreme sportsman’s dream. This large sinkhole—and when I say large, I mean large—is surrounded by a network of underground caves and waterfalls. It’s like something out of an adventure movie.

Did you know you can even go bungee jumping off the side of the sinkhole? If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, Xiaozhai Tiankeng has got you covered.

For a sinkhole adventure that’s bigger and better than anything you’ve ever seen before, head on over to Xiaozhai Tiankeng in China.

7 Devil’s Sinkhole, Texas, USA

Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area, Texas

Yeehaw! We’re headed to the Lone Star State to check out Devil’s Sinkhole in Texas. Devil’s Sinkhole is a large vertical cave that was formed by a sinkhole. The cave is home to one of the biggest camps of Mexican free-tailed bats in the world.

That’s right, folks, there are millions of bats living in this sinkhole. And if you’re lucky enough to be there at the right time, you can witness the bats as they take off for their nightly feeding frenzy. It’s like something out of a horror movie—but in a good way. But don’t worry, if bats aren’t your thing, Devil’s Sinkhole has plenty of other attractions to offer, including stunning rock formations and beautiful waterfalls.

Located in the heart of Texas, Devil’s Sinkhole is a natural wonder that’s been around for millions of years. It’s over 300 feet (90 meters) deep. So if you’re ready to embrace your wild side and experience the wonders of Devil’s Sinkhole, Texas is waiting for you.

6 Guatemala City Sinkhole, Guatemala

Crews Probe Massive Guatemala Sinkhole

In 2010, a massive sinkhole opened up in the middle of Guatemala City, swallowing up several buildings and killing over 100 people. It was like something out of a disaster movie. But despite the initial shock, the sinkhole has become a popular tourist attraction in Guatemala City.

Visitors can marvel at the sheer size and depth of the sinkhole, which is over 65 feet (20 meters) wide and 300 feet (90 meters) deep. Want to take a zipline across the sinkhole? That’s right; you can fly over one of the most infamous sinkholes in the world.

5 Bimmah Sinkhole, Oman

Bimmah Sinkhole Oman (he actually did it!)

The Bimmah Sinkhole is a popular tourist spot in Oman, featuring crystal-clear blue water and a limestone cave. It’s a natural wonder that’s been drawing in visitors from around the world. It’s like a giant swimming pool, only with a whole bunch of tiny fish that will nibble the dead skin off your toes.

However, what really sets the Bimmah Sinkhole apart is its stunning rock formations and the fact that you can cliff jump into the water from the surrounding rocks. You can leap into the deep blue from heights up to 90 feet (27 meters).

But if cliff jumping isn’t your thing, just kick back and relax on the surrounding beach or take a dip in the cool, refreshing water. Don’t forget your swimsuit!

4 Dragon Hole, South China Sea

Dragon Hole is the world’s deepest known underwater sinkhole, reaching a depth of over 987 feet (300 meters). Located in the South China Sea, it sits in the Paracel Islands, and islanders call it “the eye.” It’s home to some of the most unique and rare sea creatures in the world.

Legend has it that the Dragon Hole is home to a giant sea dragon that’s been terrorizing the surrounding waters for centuries. Maybe you’ll take a deep dive into the Dragon Hole and see if you can spot the dragon for yourself!

Are you ready to embrace your inner sea adventurer and explore the mysteries of the Dragon Hole? You’re destined for the South China Sea.

3 Ik-Kil Cenote, Mexico

Group Cliff Dive into the Ik Kil Cenote

Hola, amigos! Are you ready for an adventure in Mexico? Then look no further than the Ik-Kil Cenote, a natural wonder that’s been enchanting visitors for centuries. The Ik-Kil Cenote is a sinkhole that’s open to the sky and features a natural pool of freshwater

Popular with swimmers and divers, this sinkhole is nestled in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula. The Ik-Kil Cenote is surrounded by lush vegetation, and it’s something out of a fairy tale.

You can see a waterfall that cascades down from the surrounding cliffs and a platform that’s perfect for cliff jumping. If you’re feeling brave, you can leap into the water from over 14 feet (4.3 meters) high or float around and take in the beauty of the cenote.

2 El Zacatón Pit, México

Cave Diving Gone Wrong into Zacaton Sinkhole – Sheck Exley’s Tragedy at Extreme Depths!

Are you ready for another swimming adventure in Mexico? Then look no further than El Zacatón, a natural sinkhole that’s sure to make a splash. El Zacatón is a water-filled sinkhole, reaching a depth of over 918 feet (280 meters). It’s located in Mexico’s Tamaulipas state. But don’t let that scare you away because the crystal-clear water is perfect for swimming and diving.

What’s really cool about El Zacatón is that the water is so clear, you can see all the way to the bottom. And with a temperature of around 86°F (30°C), it’s the perfect place to cool off on a hot day. El Zacatón is a popular spot for technical diving, where experienced divers can explore the depths of the sinkhole and its underwater caves.

So if you’re ready to take the plunge and explore the depths of El Zacatón, cross the border to Mexico. You’ll need your swimsuit and a healthy sense of adventure!

1 The Maelstrom, Norway

This Deadly Whirlpool Lurks off Norway’s Coast – and It’s the World’s Most Powerful Whirlpool

The Maelstrom is a powerful whirlpool that forms in the waters off the coast of Norway. While not technically a sinkhole, it’s a natural phenomenon that has fascinated the country for centuries. Swirling off the coast of the Lofoten Islands, the Maelstrom is caused by the meeting of two strong ocean currents, which create a vortex that can reach depths of up to 16.5 feet (5 meters).

But don’t let that scare you away because The Maelstrom is also a popular spot for thrill-seekers who want to ride the waves. It’s a popular destination for kayaking, surfing, and even diving (for the experienced). There’s even a boat tour that will take you right into the heart of the whirlpool—hold on tight!

fact checked by Rachel Jones