A lot of folks dream of having an in-ground pool installed in their backyard. For most, it’s only just a dream that they have to give up on thanks to its hefty price tag.
For one couple in Australia, it was the exact opposite. They had absolutely no plans to install a pool of any kind on their property, but they wound up with one anyway! A pool by definition, at least…
One day, when they peered out of the window into the backyard of their Ipswich, Queensland home, they got the shock of a lifetime. An in-ground “pool” had appeared before their very eyes—and it was threatening to swallow their house whole!
Lynn and Ray McKay lived a pretty peaceful life in a Queensland, Australia, suburb called Basin Pocket. Nothing too out of the ordinary happened… well, usually. That’s why they were shocked when they looked outside their window and discovered something no one would want to see…
There, right in front of them, was an absolutely massive sinkhole. It appeared overnight. Unsure of what to do, the McKays immediately contacted the local authorities who sent a team of experts, but even those seasoned professionals couldn’t believe what they were seeing!
Before long, the government was involved and trying to figure out what exactly could have caused this giant sinkhole. They had to act fast, because the sinkhole’s sudden presence wasn’t the only issue at hand…
You see, this sinkhole wasn’t just enormous—but it was growing. If they left it alone, it would eat up the McKays’ backyard—and their entire house! Thankfully, officials soon made a discovery that would begin to explain the mystery of this giant hole.
The McKays’ home was actually built on the site of an old coal mining shaft that dated back to the early 1900s. (This explained why their street was named Coal Road!) This shaft had likely collapsed. While the couple had heard that there was a mining shaft located near their home, they had no idea that it was actually sitting beneath their feet.
Unfortunately, the sinkhole continued to expand at a frightening rate. After just seven days, the sinkhole already measured 20 feet wide by 30 feet deep. While it was still confined to their backyard, at the rate it was growing, it was threatening their safety.
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Even more frightening? The experts who arrived on the scene could not immediately figure out how to stop the sinkhole from growing. In an effort to stay safe, the McKays were sent to live in a nearby hotel until a solution could be found.
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Thankfully, the experts eventually figured out what caused the dramatic sinkhole. Apparently, the timber that lined the top of the old shaft had rotted away, which caused the earth above it to collapse completely.
The team got to work as soon as they could, and they started draining the sinkhole of the water that had begun to collect inside of it. Once that was done, they loaded one ton of dirt to stabilize the abandoned shaft below—and to keep it from ever collapsing again.
For the McKays, it was an end to a strange and unsettling chapter in their lives. After they moved back into their home, Ray took a piece of wood pulled from the sinkhole and used it to make a sign to mark the spot of the strange event!
Believe it or not, that wasn’t the end of the story! Six months after the sinkhole was “repaired,” the McKays began to notice something pretty disturbing… the ground was sinking again! Watch this video to see the new sinkhole form…
How terrifying would it be if a sinkhole appeared in your backyard—and not once, but twice? If they can’t come up with a permanent solution, they might want to turn lemons into lemonade and transform that sinkhole into a real in-ground pool!
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