Sinkhole swallows Corvette museum

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Corvette
The cars are valued at approximately $1 million apiece.

Early Wednesday morning, a massive sinkhole opened up at the National Corvette Museum. It was roughly 40 feet across, 25 feet deep, and swallowed up 8 super rare Corvettes. So, what are sinkholes and why are they able to gobble up cars?

A sinkhole is basically a hole in the ground that forms after dirt or other substances collapse into the ground. While “cover-subsidence” sinkholes form gradually as dirt below slowly spills into underground gaps, “cover-collapse” sinkholes are the dramatic kind that make the news. Just like with cover-subsidence sinkholes, dirt slowly drains into spaces below the surface, but this time, a mega void forms. The underground hole gets bigger and bigger until it loses all of its ability to support the dirt above it. Then, it dramatically gives way, collapsing all the ground-level dirt into a huge pit like at the National Corvette Museum.

Even people can make sinkholes when building roads, bridges, parking lots, and other structures. As for the one that swallowed up the historic Corvettes, experts are studying the big hole to assess how much damage was caused.

Images courtesy of Corvette Museum.