CNN: Guatemalan Sinkholes

CNN Boss: We need a photo of the damage. And it has to be dramatic.
Peon: OK, I’ll see if I can contact Guatemalan authorities.
CNN Boss: No time for that!
Peon: Then what should I do?
CNN Boss: Scan this in. Circle around the hole. Place over this picture. Also scan in these lights. Put them in the hole.
Peon: I don’t think this is going to work.
CNN Boss: When’s the last time I cared what you think? Get it done, NOW!
Peon: OK… How’s this?
CNN Boss: Perfect! Now upload it, this story is breaking goddammit!
Peon: I think I’ll include this in my portfolio for my freelance business.

Thanks Bill for both the PSD and the caption. You can see the original here.

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  • Jshook

    I saw this last week somewhere, and it sure did look like a PSD to me.  I see I’m not the only one. There were several shots. If you read the story, evidently this sinkhole opened up in a room in someone’s home. I don’t think sinkholes can be this small, nor that they can have an edge this clean. And is the linoleum floor just sitting on tidy layers of dirt? Shouldn’t there be some kind of subfloor or something? But I’m no expert….

    • TheFloorGuru

      Linolium can’t be produced checkerd. Unless the hole was drilled a tiled (lino) floor will show a difrent breaking pattern. Zo I guess it’s vinyl. Both can be installd on a smooth concrete floor.

    • tuff_cookie

      This is a very common thing in Guatemala City, and yes, they can be that small. Have a look at this article about another (larger) “sinkhole” that opened up last year:

      It’s actually something called a “piping feature”, which forms when the loose material the city is built on gets washed away by water or sewage. Sinkholes form when bedrock (usually limestone) is eaten away. 

  • Cropper

    It’s not a sink hole it is a raised hole

  • Kelseigh Nieforth

    See here:  There’s another angle of the same hole, and it is indeed that even and there seems to be no subfloor to speak of.  It’s possible the tiles were cut away afterwards, hard to tell, but it seems to be a straight photo with no particular PS.

    The bright lightsource inside the hole with no light source above it does create an unsettling cutout effect though, doesn’t it? (note how some small debris near the top edge is also lit up, outside where the supposed cutout would be)

    • OurJames

      Those are the two photos I saw a while ago. At first the upper photo looks odd because the tiles continue straight across the hole on the far edge. The lower photo is taken from the opposite side, and you can just make out part of that section at the bottom of the photo. After some study I decided that this was where the sinkhole fell away under the tiles, leaving a small lip on that side of the hole. I spent a lot of time comparing the two photos looking for inconsistencies, but didn’t see anything glaring. The only thing that struck me as questionable is that slight jog on the lip of the hole in the lower photo where the dark tile to the right of the lamp cord (which passes over its leftmost corner) meets the light tile. The light in the hole creates a strong highlight on this jog, which I guess is about 1/2″. You don’t see this at all in the upper photo. Otherwise I haven’t found anything inconsistent that can’t be explained by changes in light and camera angle.

      I still am not completely convinced that there is a subfloor, but it could possibly be concrete poured directly on dirt, so it would tend to blend with the layer of dirt it was poured onto while it was still wet.

      It is also possible the tiles were cut by hand to make the hole easier to investigate. It really looks like someone ran a saw around the edge.

      I find it hard to believe that a sinkhole would fall away so cleanly, leaving a vertical shaft as this one appears to have done. The ones I have seen photos of are usually funnel-shaped. Perhaps this was also neatened up for study?

      If this is a PSD, it is very skillfully done.

      • Kelseigh Nieforth

        My guess is that someone ran a saw across the tiles, probably for safety/convenience.  After all, you don’t want to lean on a tile with nothing under it, and it would obstruct the view down the hole.

        As to the vertical shaft, looking for the photos I came across pics of the big one that happened before that swallowed a building.  The walls of that were pretty sheer as well.

        • Waldobaby

          Not a saw. A knife. Consider your materials.

          We also can not expect “modern” citified construction methods in what may be a deeply rural area of Guatemala. Like OurJames said, it’s quite possible that the floor is made of vinyl tiles adhered to a very thin concrete (or other) layer on a sub-layer of hard packed dirt. There is normally nothing, aside from sinkholes and moisture from below, wrong with the integrity of such a floor.

    • eloahj

      I agree that this isn’t a PSD, but I think that debris you are talking about actually adds to the illusion of a bad chop job, since the floor around it remains dark.  

      • Kelseigh Nieforth

        Nonsense.  The debris would be higher than the floor (it sits on top of the floor, dig?) so able to catch a little of the light coming from inside the hole.  The floor wouldn’t, since the light source is below that level.  The camera would add contrast, of course, making the darks look that much darker.

  • Spillage66

    If you look closely, you will see that the tiles really are cut in a hole shape. If it’s PSd, then they’ve done a thorough job. Look at the dark tiles on the edge. The pattern continues in cross-section. I’d offer that the lighting is making it look slightly odd. We’ll see, when more photographs, or simila surface. (No pun intended!)

  • Magus None
    Here you go.  Not a PsD.

    Sorry, looks like I missed the HuffPo post.

  • God

    it’s the secret hide-out of the small owl, aka ” the reversed oil-drum”

    • Commie

      Just goes to show that some people will believe Vernon over their own eyes…

  • David Hepworth
  • viOlator

    The caption is funny but this is not a PSD.

  • Guest

    There is a video fom Reuters on Youtube:
    You can clearly see the Hole – it’s not an PSD.

  • Cropper

    reminds me of this photo of a missile spiraling. I thought it was shopped

  • Tobias

    This isn’t even a real sinkhole, it’s an old well. They probably had the well filled up with earth or rubble before they built the house on top of it. The earth has now dissappeared, maybe because it was swept away or a cave underneath collapsed, and now the lady has a nice well in her bedroom. 😉

  • Sucrant

    Another PSD FAIL

  • Jackrabbit

    And here I thought the disaster was just the guy who casts no silhouette 18 inches in front of a 150 watt bulb… 

  • Jesse Clark

    I always get a kick out of the PSD writer’s hasty retorts to the people disagreeing with the PSD.  It may have happened before, but just once I want to see them own up to the clear non-dissaster.  

    At least remove the embarrassing caption.

    • xhosef

      yeah, but am still a devout visitor. i used to enjoy coming here to see psds, now i get more fun seeing lotsa psd “ooops” posts

  • Christopher Rose

    This site is getting worse at posting images that are not disasters. And its embarrassing reading the captions and comments that do think it is a PSD.

  • Welp

    Considering this photo has been debunked (several times), perhaps it might be wise to remove it or at the very least put a disclaimer that it is not a PSD.

  • Rob

    It’s interesting how in a single generation we’ve gone from “The camera never lies” to “This photo looks a bit funny – SHOOPED!”.

  • Woyczek

    The hole is to be compared to this one, in guatemala May 31, 2010.
    Exactly the same shape… but of bigger size.

  • Daporp

    “sink holes” are not brick-lined structures, this is obviously an old well someone forgot about.