Some of the most spectacular underwater sinkholes are found in the Great Lakes…and many, many of them are in Lake Huron. Lake Superior on the other hand, is less likely for sinkholes due to the different geology. So when someone takes shots of a sinkhole in the shallowest Great Lake of all, Lake Erie, it arouses curiosity. Well, mine anyway.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists have been researching and studying sinkholes for years and have concluded that sinkholes have an effect in raising the levels of lakes, but as for how much, they are not certain.

One curious thing is the microbial life at the bottom of sinkholes that the water nourishes. These are little forms of life that have not been known until recent years. According to a University of Michigan professor, “These sinkholes are exceptional in terms of the type of life they hold…..We consider them to be an extreme environment. Usually, we would have to go to Yellowstone Park or the deep sea to see something similar.”

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The photosynthesis process of the bacteria found on the bottom is believed by scientists to be similar of how Earth’s environment evolved millions of years ago, allowing sustained life to animals and plants. An aquatic microbial ecologist was quoted as saying “We started looking at them as windows to early Earth.”

Great Lake sinkholes are estimated to reach depths of 60 to 350 – or more – feet deep and can be the size of a football field…..and they are all thanks to Michigan’s limestone bedrock.

So now have a brief look into the underwater world of a Lake Erie sinkhole…it ain’t just sand and seaweed, you know…..

Into a Lake Erie Sinkhole


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