Sanica - Just outside the rustic village, children fished in a tranquil pond bobbing with green algae and lined with willow trees, as cattle grazed nearby. Now, Rezak Motanic gazes in disbelief down a gigantic moonlike crater where the pond used to be. It's like something from a science fiction movie: a sinkhole swallowed the water, the fish and even nearby trees.
© Amel Emric
A huge sinkhole appears in the village of Sanica, Bosnia.
"I sat here only a day before it happened, sipping plum brandy," Cemal Hasan said. "And then, there was panic. Fish were jumping out, and a big plum tree was pulled down like someone yanked it with a hook." The villagers of this remote northwestern Bosnian village have been in shock since the pond vanished two weeks ago.
Their pond was some 20 metres in diameter and about eight meters deep. Now, the "abyss," as the villagers have dubbed the crater, is some 50 metres wide and 30 metres deep - and growing. Scientists say it is not uncommon that ponds and small lakes suddenly disappear. They say it could be caused by drying underground water currents, or changes in soil drainage due to irrigation.
The Sanica villagers, however, are having none of the scientific explanations. "It could have been a giant cave that opened its doors," offered Milanko Skrbic. "Or a volcano."