They are a force that cannot be reckoned with: sinkholes that suddenly open up and swallow cars, yards and even people. The holes are caused naturally when water erodes bedrock, causing a surface layer above to collapse – but they can also be cause by a manmade disruption to the land.
Here are some of the most monstrous.
Sinkhole Opens In Man’s Front Yard
On April 13, a 40-foot deep sinkhole opened on a man’s front yard in Des Moines, Iowa.
Des Moines man's front yard view of sinkhole. pic.twitter.com/GOqeMwbKV7— Dave Price (@idaveprice) April 13, 2016
Time for these engineers to get a closeup look at this Des Moines sinkhole. pic.twitter.com/Lu7ZWrGosQ— Dave Price (@idaveprice) April 13, 2016
The homeowner told local news station KCCI that the sound of the sinkhole forming was “like thunder.”
Officials believed the sinkhole was caused by an 100-year-old mine shaft beneath the man’s home.
Des Moines Public Works Director Jonathan Gano told WHO-TV: “That neighborhood is covered by 223 acres of abandoned underground coal mines, and one of the maps showed a mine shaft near the residence. That’s the most likely cause of this particular sinkhole.”
Sinkhole Forces Raw Sewage To Flow Through Neighborhood
Earlier this month, a 90-foot wide and 35-foot deep sinkhole opened in a suburban neighborhood in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Residents of the neighborhood were told to conserve water -- but the sinkhole sparked a very stinky situation. Raw sewage began to flow after a sewer line broke when the hole formed, WTSP reported.
Crews rushed to fix the sewer lines after the sinkhole stabilized. Some residents were temporarily displaced.
Sinkhole That Swallowed a Florida Man Reopens
A sinkhole that swallowed a Florida man in 2013 reopened last August after heavy rains fell on the area.
Last year, residents of Seffner, Florida heard a loud noise and discovered a sinkhole about 20-feet in diameter.
It came two years after the hole initially opened and swallowed Jeff Bush, 36, as he was asleep in his home. His body was never recovered and the house was torn down. The piece of property remained vacant and was turned into a makeshift memorial.
Sinkhole Swallows Cars On Baltimore Street
In 2014, cars fell into a sinkhole that opened on a Baltimore street after heavy rain fell on the area for days.
Some of the cars – which had once lined the street – teetered on the edge of the hole, while others fell in.
IE spoke with Nicholas Reyes who shot video of the incident with his cell phone. "It was unbelievable. I have never seen anything like that in my life,” he said.
Woman Watches in Horror as Man is Swallowed By a Sinkhole
In February, an Arizona father was swallowed and killed by a sinkhole while a woman watched from her home garden.
The unnamed woman notified authorities right away and was hailed a hero by the family of the victim, Guadalupe Gomez Nila, 60.
The woman saw a set of arms flail in the air and then vanish. Nila, an irrigation worker for Sossaman Farms in Queen Creek, had been carrying out routine maintenance when the massive sinkhole opened.
"It’s a frightening sight. She didn’t know what happened. She thought he fell," Detective Doug Matteson with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said.
Once the woman realized what had happened, she called authorities. Fire officials arrived to find a 50-foot hole in Earth. Authorities said Nila either drowned or was suffocated by dirt.
Five People Get Swallowed by a Sinkhole As They Wait For the Bus in China
In August 2015, five people who were waiting to catch a bus were swallowed by a massive sinkhole, surveillance footage revealed.
The group was on the sidewalk in Harbin, China when the ground suddenly opened up beneath them.
Three people fell straight into the hole. One woman hung onto pipes underneath the sidewalk and another pedestrian who was standing on the edge fell sideways into the hole.
Good Samaritans pulled the victims from the hole, which was about 10 feet deep, according to reports. Four of the people that fell in received minor injuries to their feet, legs, arms and shoulders.
Sinkhole Appears Overnight, Baffles Police
A 10-foot deep sinkhole opened up overnight in Manchester, England earlier this week.
Police tweeted the information and continue to look into what caused the hole.
NQ sinkhole? 10 foot deep hole appears overnight on Church St. We're looking into it... pic.twitter.com/pjPACoAF0t— GMP City Centre (@GMPCityCentre) April 20, 2016
It was reportedly so deep that the sewers can be seen from street level.
South African Community Gets Potholes Fixed Only to Have Sinkhole Emerge
Residents of Tshwane, South Africa were dealing with a persistent pothole problem earlier this month but got an even bigger headache when authorities went to patch them up.
Instead, a sinkhole emerged. The mayor of the town was shocked by the size of the hole.
The mayor vowed to fix the problem.
Sinkhole Formation is Caught on Camera
Earlier this month, the police department in Madera, California posted a video of a sinkhole opening up right in the middle of a street on Facebook:
Luckily, no one was harmed and the hole was able to be contained.
Russian Sinkhole Can Be Seen From Space
In 2014, a sinkhole opened in Solikamsk, Russia and destroyed an entire neighborhood. It measured at more than 410 feet wide and 246 feet deep.
The hole was so big it could be seen from space.
In September 2015, a drone captured the size of the crater, which has now become a popular tourist spot.
In 2015, RT reported that the hole was so big that a 25-story building could be placed on the inside of the hole.
It is believed the hole formed after underground floods in a nearby mine.