What Works 3/4

Sinkholes: Why Does the Ground Sometimes Just Disappear Right Beneath Us?



In this article by Rebecca Rosen for The Atlantic caught my attention because that is the question that I have been wondering but having a hard time finding the answer to since I heard the news of the man who was swallowed up in his home in Florida.

By making the headline that question I think it pulled in a lot of readers wondering the same thing. If it had been titled something else, I might not have clicked on it because I’ve already read a few other articles on the subject.

The writer wrote in a way that showed remorse for the tragedy that occurred while delivering clear and concise facts at the same time. Example:

“As biblical as the story sounds, the collapsing Earth was no act of god. Florida’s peninsula is unstable terrain by dint of its particular geology: a bed of limestone is slowly wasting away beneath the soil, taking trees, houses, and lives with it, collapse by collapse. What feels capricious to those above is the toll of an active planet, one of those improbable collisions of a human timescale and a geological one.”

I liked how the writer showed (and linked) to previous news stories of homes, trees and cars being sucked into the earth from that same county in Florida. This gave me the awareness that this is not new, although it felt like a bizarre random occurrence when I first started hearing reports of the incident.

The use of two different maps, one of the area of Florida where the incidents have occurred and one of the active karst topography in the U.S. really helped to get an understanding of the facts that are delivered. She explains everything in a way that someone who is very uneducated on the subject, like myself, can understand easily.


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