In 1980, aerial footage of the Dead Sea in Israel showed a coastline with not one single sinkhole.Today, that same coastline contains more than 6,000. And while there are sinkholes in other parts of the world, nowhere do they spread as quickly as along the Dead Sea.
image/text credit: Great Big Story
As the sea’s water levels continue to drop, the phenomenon accelerates. And despite the pressure to do nothing, geologist Eli Raz set out to reverse this trend and save an ecosystem under dire threat.
The sinkholes come in all shapes and sizes, some more than 50 meters (160 feet) across and 30 meters (100 feet) deep, others less than a meter. In 1990 there were a little over 100 sinkholes, according to the Geological Survey of Israel. Today, there are more than 6,000, with new ones showing up daily.
Beyond the physical loss stemming from the sinkholes, Kita said, the kibbutz is also beginning to lose something less tangible: hope.“What’s in danger is really the issue of continuing the settlement of the Dead Sea region,” Kita said. “No one has left the kibbutz — we love this place — but it’s a big worry.”