Watch a sinkhole swallow dozens of huge trees whole

Bayou Corne in Louisiana has a problem. A big problem.

And it’s getting bigger.

Last August, following months of low level earthquakes, surrounding soil started crumbling into the depths of the bayou. The area has been monitored since by workers at the nearby Assumption Parish, which is how they captured remarkable video of the sinkhole swallowing a huge stand of 40-foot-tall cyprus trees in the blink of an eye.

This event, while spectacular, is no surprise. In August 3, 2012 a massive one-acre hole appeared in the area, which caused the government to evacuate the community of Bayou Corne.

The sinkhole has grown in size to over 28 acres, and has reached depths of approximately 750 feet. Locals have still not returned to the area because of the ongoing danger it poses.

It is thought that the cause of the sinkhole is a collapsing salt dome, which was created by a company called Texas Brine. The State of Louisiana has sued the company to the tune of 12 million dollars for damages, including future costs.

How is Texas Brine responsible? To extract the salt, the company had been shooting pressurized freshwater into the salt deposit, then extracting out the now-salty water. It seems that this process has de-stabilized the salt deposit, and its collapse is causing the enormous sinkhole.

If you’d like to read more about what is being described as the “biggest ongoing disaster in the United States you haven’t heard of,” you can find out more by clicking here.