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Enormous Sinkhole, Still Expanding, Creates Spectacle in Western Kansas [VIDEO]

Aug 05, 2013 11:11 AM EDT
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Kansas Sinkhole
A sinkhole more than two-thirds the size of a football field opened in a remote area of far western Kansas, spooking locals and creating a tourist spectacle, much to the chagrin of local officials, who are warning curious onlookers to use caution, as the sinkhole still appears to be expanding.
(Photo : YouTube Screenshot / CBS )

A sinkhole more than two-thirds the size of a football field opened in a remote area of far western Kansas, spooking locals and creating a tourist spectacle, much to the chagrin of local officials, who are warning curious onlookers to use caution as the sinkhole still appears to be expanding.

The sinkhole just north of Sharon Springs, about 200 miles east of Denver, seemingly opened up overnight one day last week; it currently measures more than 200 feet across and 90 feet deep.

Local officials report that there were not any mining operations, oil drilling or any other sort of man-made geological disturbances in the area that may have triggered the sinkhole.

"Man had nothing to do with this. This is a God thing There's no oil well around here, there are no irrigation wells anywhere near. This is something that just happened," Sharon Springs Sheriff Larry Townsend told local news station KWCH 12.

It's unclear exactly when the sinkhole opened, but Dalton Hoss, who owns the pasture where the giant hole appeared, said it happened sometime last week.

"Actually, my brother found it. He called me up and his voice was quaking and he said, 'You'll never believe what I just saw,'" Hoss said.

Video from local news stations (below) shows locals walking through the sinkhole; the image of grown adults being dwarfed by the size of the sinkhole gives perspective of just how big it is.

"I'd seen pictures and I knew it was deep, but I didn't think it was this deep. You get out here and you get a whole different perspective on how deep it is," said Gavin Mote.

A number of large cracks in the ground around the sinkhole's perimeter suggest it will continue to expand, Sheriff Townsend suggests, prompting local authorities and the landowners to issue caution to curious onlookers.

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