Why So Many Sinkholes In Florida?

Mar 4, 2013

In Seffner, Fla., on Sunday, demolition crews and firefighters watched as a crane operator worked to bring down the home where a man was sucked into a sinkhole last week.
Credit Reuters

Demolition continues today on a home in Seffner, near Tampa, where a man was killed when sinkhole opened up under his bedroom. The sad and frightening story of a man swallowed up by the Earth as he slept has most Floridians paying more attention to sinkholes, but they're actually a fairly common occurrence in the state.

The Atlantic has a great article explaining why Florida is so susceptible to sinkholes.

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.

The truth is, as common as sinkholes are, they are rarely deadly.  The Florida Department of Environmental Protection also provides details and answers to Frequently Asked Questions about sinkholes.