Nov 08, 2010 12:00AM

sinkholes: an epidemic

An open letter to the World.

HORRIBLE GUATEMALAN SINKHOLE

Dear World,

The news tells me that you have created ANOTHER sinkhole. Bad World! This time it was in the sleepy German town of Schmalkalden, scarfing up a car and garage door and creating a crater 30 metres deep where a family's retirement money used to sit, manifest in a lovely backyard. With a garden. And a Volkswagen.

ANNOYING GERMAN SINKHOLE

What the what? World, I have so many questions! Firstly, why do you keep creating sinkholes this year? First Canada, then that one in Guatemala (top image) that ate a clothes factory (how sad!), quickly followed by China and the US. Sinkholes make no sense to me, so I asked the internet what was going on (http://askjeeves.com). He told me that there are a whole heap of boring reasons why the ground could suddenly rupture beneath you, and what's MORE, that the sinkhole in Guatemala isn't really a sinkhole but a "piping feature". Lame.

PRETTY, USEFUL SINKHOLE

I found a preferable explanation here. According to Contact Report 45 (aliens!), mining and the exploitation of a planet makes it "collapse from within", causing sinkholes and earthquakes. Each country that has had a sinkhole has also had some sort of mining activity:

"It seems logical to say that the results of extracting oil and mining are becoming more noticeable and more serious. In Contact Report 45, Semjase tell us that 'slowly the Earth collapses from within.' Are we now seeing this starting to happen in countries that exploit the Earth beneath them? My answer to this question is yes. Clearly, the Earth has to collapse from within to create the sinkholes. What does the future hole [sic] regarding all this? I will leave it up to you, the reader, to think, and possibly do something, about it ? if anything is indeed now possible to change because of what humans have set in motion by their exploitation of the Earth."

Mmm. Persuasive stuff (only a wanker would point out that correlation does not mean causation, or cum hoc ergo propter hoc). Also, "what does the future hole"? Good one, World!

Humanist psychologists say that we find it hard to believe that circumstances are beyond our control and instead may turn to conspiracy theories, because at least then the complications in life can be seen as manageable by humans. Whatever, World! You would say that!

I also wanted to ask: Is there a connection between sinkholes, President Obama, CERN and lolcats?

Um, YES.

The strangest thing about sinkholes for me, World, is that we didn't seem to learn about them in primary school when we studied other natural disasters, like volcanoes and tornadoes and all the other phenomena that kept me awake at night. But considering that sinkholes are merely the manifestation of alien prophesies predicting the destruction of the Earth from the inside out as a result of human malevolence, I guess even the inexplicable in this world is explicable.

2012 could not come fast enough.

Kind regards,

Madeleine Atkins

P.S. I tried to find an online clip of the model home sinking in Arrested Development but there aren't any. Can you get onto that as well? Thanks, WORLD.

Words: Madeleine Atkins

Image sourcing: Ariane Halls