If your perception of the world were shaped solely by sinkhole stories, you might assume that at any moment the ground beneath you could suddenly give way and send you plunging hundreds of feet into the earth's crust. It happened a bunch of times in 2010, in Quebec, in Milwaukee, in Tampa, and in the central German town of Schmalkalden.
The biggest sinkhole of the year was in Guatemala City, where in May an almost perfectly round, 100-foot deep crater suddenly opened up at a street intersection downtown. The hole was thought to have been caused by the heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agatha. As with other sinkholes, the water eroded the soluble rocks under the street, creating a huge subterranean cavern that suddenly collapsed. A security guard was reported missing but far more people lost their lives due to flooding and landslides caused by the tropical storm.
What we learned: For your safety, clearly it's best to avoid the earth's surface and all structures that are supported by it.