Monday, June 16, 2014

Sinkhole Mystery For Monday...!

This is another one of those mysteries that takes place right here in the U.S. and can be (almost) visited!

Nature is beautiful and can be strange, as we all know. This story is a very good example of that.

Mount Baldy Sinkholes


Photo credit: Ejdzej/Wikimedia
At 37 meters (123 ft), Mount Baldy is the tallest sand dune on the southern edge of Lake Michigan. Indiana advertises the tourist attraction as “living” because it moves a meter or two every year. The dune began to move when visitors wore away the grass holding it together. That’s no mystery; it’s caused by the wind. It’s the dune’s ability to swallow children that puzzles scientists.

In July 2013, six-year-old Nathan Woessner was buried when a 3-meter (11 ft) hole suddenly formed beneath him. It took three hours to dig him out, thankfully alive. The next month, a second hole appeared. Deep air pockets aren’t supposed to be able to form in sand dunes, because the sand should immediately fill any gaps.

“We’re seeing what appears to be a new geological phenomenon,” said geologist Erin Argyilan, who is leading an investigation. She was working nearby the day Nathan was swallowed and is emotionally invested in finding the answer. 

The dune may cover trees, which rot away to create the holes. The dune was once mined to use the sand in glass making, so the phenomenon may be caused by humans. In the meantime, the dune is very much closed to the public.

I don't think that this is the place to try and build any sand castles, do you? I wonder if any of our northern readers have ever seen this place. You would tell us, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Chocolate pie to go along with it!


Chickenmom said...

Don't think I'd want to go near that! 'Hope there are replies from people that saw it. Save me a BIG slice of the chocolate pie!

Trailshome said...

I live near that dune and have climbed all over it. It's so steep that it's very difficult to climb at any age, but kids tackle it with glee, then roll or slide down. It's a part of growing up for us who share the neighborhood, but we're staying off of it now. Very strange.

linda m said...

Well, this is one place you have mentioned that I have actually visited. I live about 3 hours from the dunes. I probably climbed it years ago but don't do much "dune" climbing theses days. Good story for a Monday

JO said...

Always learning new things here. I have never heard of this place before. This is interesting, but I think I'll keep my distance. We have lots of sink holes here. Since man arrived in hords here and used up all the ground water it leaves huge underground tunnels and wham sink hole.

Chocolate Pie and some great coffee sounds really good.

deborah harvey said...

doubt if it is 'new' phenomenon.
just scientists discovering that they don't know everything.
if they could all realize that tiny fact they could have a bit more humility and possibly not jump on bandwagons until the facts are all in.
like with nebraska man, a modern pig's tooth turned into a whole class of extinct humans!!

deb h.

Mamahen said...

Never knew...about this daughter went to college up that way....wish I had known about it then, although I wouldn't have try to climb it...Chocolate pie mmmmm I'm on my way :))

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I think I'll pass on trying to climb it as well!

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Trailshome...
It does look very steep indeed! I reckon I had better stay off of it as well.

I appreciate you coming over today!

Hey Linda M...
Glad I could find a place you have actually been to. I'll bet you did climb it in the olden days!

Hey, thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Jo...
Maybe this is one of those places you want to pay a visit to.

I sure do thank y6ou for coming over today, sweetie!

Hey Deborah...
Seems like the more they "know", the more dangerous they are!

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Hey Mamahen...
You mean you didn't want to climb to the top and roll down? Hey, it isn't too late, ya know!

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Dizzy-Dick said...

Back when I was 16 years old, I visited Indiana Dunes State Park and climbed all over those dunes. Heck, I had no idea I was in danger. I guess I am lucky I didn't get sucked in, since I was skinny as a rail back then (grin).

Sixbears said...

Getting sucked into a sink hole is a horror thought. Just as well they closed it.

It was a pleasant coffee on the deck morning.