When the Earth Swallows

5:38 minutes

Last week a Florida man was swallowed by the earth as he slept, the victim of a sinkhole. In 1981, another Florida sinkhole ate a swimming pool and a Porsche repair shop. Randall Orndorff, a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, discusses this mysterious phenomenon, and whether technology exists to predict when–and where–the surface might crumble.

Segment Guests

Randall Orndorff

Randall Orndorff is geologist and director of the Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center at the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.