The 24-acre cavity was caused by the collapse of an underground salt dome.


The sinkhole that swallowed Bayou Corne, Louisiana. (Photo: Strange Sounds)

It began with bubbles. Bubbles of gas throughout the bayou. Nothing to get hysterical about. But it kept getting worse.So residents of Bayou Corne, Louisiana, turned to state regulators, who in the summer of 2012 determined that it wasn’t naturally occurring swamp gas, according to Mother Jones. And the U.S. Geological Survey also found that there was increased seismic activity.

What could it be? With bubbling getting worse, the suggestion was floated that it could be the beginnings of a sinkhole, perhaps caused by the mining of a salt dome beneath the town. The company in charge of the mining, Texas Brine, told state officials a sinkhole was highly unlikely.

Then, on August 3, 2012, crude oil began gushing out of a gaping pit nearby. That afternoon, governor Bobby Jindal ordered residents of the small town to evacuate.

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