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Nightmarish ‘woe hole’ that can suck people into ocean opens up on clifftop beauty spot

Nightmarish 'woe hole' that can suck people into ocean opens up on clifftop beauty spot


Beachgoers are being urged to stay away from a terrifying 40ft wide sink hole that can “suck people” into the swirling ocean below.

The rare “woe hole” mysteriously appeared near a coastal trail on a clifftop beauty spot in southern Australia.

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Experts warned the land surrounding it could collapse at any moment.

James Holyman, chief executive officer of Robe District Council, said the hole was the size of half a tennis court – most of which are 78 feet long.

He told Australia’s ABC: “It’s a fair way down and the Southern Ocean is fairly churned with big rollers [waves] coming in there.

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The rare "woe hole" mysteriously appeared near a coastal trail on a clifftop beauty spot in southern Australia
The rare “woe hole” mysteriously appeared near a coastal trail on a clifftop beauty spot in southern Australia

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“If you went in there, you’d be sucked out into the ocean.

“There’s no warning when these things give way… You don’t get a warning. If that area drops it just happens.”

People taking a morning walk in the area first spotted the hole, the TripleM radio station reported.

Explaining what caused the sinkhole, Mr Holyman told Triple M: “The blowhole hasn’t blown for a number of years, but the energy of the waves have eroded further in under and that’s where we’ve had this collapse.

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Experts warned the land surrounding the hole could collapse at any moment
Experts warned the land surrounding the hole could collapse at any moment

“Having the ocean and limestone cliffs, we will have erosion and undercuts over time and they collapse every so often.

“This is an area that has been quite undercut and for it to fall a little bit inland, rather than directly on the coastline is a little unusual.”

The massive sinkhole is in the fishing town of Robe on the Limestone Cost and experts believe it will grow larger.



The hole is said to be half the size of a tennis court - most of which are 78 feet long
The hole is said to be half the size of a tennis court – most of which are 78 feet long

My Holyman urged people who want to look at the hole to keep outside of areas where flags have been placed.

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The District Council of Robe dubbed it a “woe hole” in a Facebook post, warning: “Waves are actively scouring the area beneath the hole and it is still collapsing.”

It is sited near a blowhole – a geological feature where the ocean blows out upwards through a crack in a clifftop.



The District Council of Robe dubbed it a "woe hole" in a Facebook post
The District Council of Robe dubbed it a “woe hole” in a Facebook post

The chasm is also near the red and white Robe Obelisk, which was erected in 1852 to guide ships.

A council spokesman said that an inspection on showed it is expected to increase in size urging people to stay away from the hole as its surface was very thin.

According to Triple M, the council will work with Flinders University and coastal engineers to study the sinkhole and to understand how to protect the coastline.

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It is sited near a blowhole - a geological feature where the ocean blows out upwards through a crack in a clifftop
It is sited near a blowhole – a geological feature where the ocean blows out upwards through a crack in a clifftop



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Patrick Hesp, a coastal studies expert at Flinders University, told ABC the limestone area likely collapsed due to recent heavy rain and ocean swells.

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The sinkhole at the popular tourist destination emerged before the start of a long weekend in most parts of Australia.

It was held to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday on June 14, when some people will be heading to beauty spots.





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