Giant crack appears in Mexico

A huge kilometre-long crack has appeared in a remote part of Mexico, leaving scientists and locals baffled.

The eight-metre deep trench opened up last week and severed Highway 26 between Hermosillo and the coast.

A drone flying along the trench captured footage of its size. reports that geologists at the University of Sonora blamed an underground stream on the earth opening up.

The civil protection unity believes an earthquake last Sunday could have caused the crack, Sky News reports.

There were no reported injuries but CBS reported that earthquake activity in the region has doubled since 1979. A study found that there have been 10 earthquakes larger than magnitude 7 per year since 1979.

Last year, walkers and tourists in the UK were warned after an enormous crack appeared along the popular Jurassic Coast in Dorset following a landslide.

It is thought heavy rain over the winter months led to the landslip, which caused the 150ft long and 6ft deep crack to appear on cliffs near Bowleaze Cove, Weymouth, on a clay section of coastline.

Experts warned walkers to avoid the area amid fears it could crumble even more.

Thousands of tons of earth gave way along the South West Coast Path, which is hugely popular with thousands of ramblers.

Weird weather and strange phenomena around the world
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Giant crack appears in Mexico

Tornados have been ripping through parts of the USA at an alarming rate during 2011. This example was captured on camera in Limestone County, Alabama, in April. A tornado is a violent, rotating column of air that it is contact with a cumulonimbus cloud and the ground. Also called twisters, they’re characterised by the condensation funnel that touches the earth, and are surrounded by clouds of dust or debris.

On 11 January, 2010, two pranksters decided to drive their car along the frozen Union Canal in Winchburgh, West Lothian, Scotland. Unfortunately for them, the thaw had already started to set in. The canal froze solid during he longest spell of freezing weather in the UK for almost 30 years.

This dust storm engulfed the desert city of Bikaner, in the western Indian state of Rajasthan on 2 April, 2010. The town was already broiling in temperatures of 39C. Dust storms happen when strong wind carries loose sand and dust away from one area and deposits it in another.

This image of the Northern lights was captured in the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in March 2011. Occurring just within the Arctic and Antarctic circles, the Northern lights – or Aurora borealis, to give them their Latin name – are the light display in the sky caused by the collision of charged particles directed by the Earth's magnetic field.

This impressive rainbow resulted from a spectacular storm and was photographed in Brandon Hill Park near Clifton, Bristol, in the UK on 27 August, 2010. The rainbow seems to rise from the top of Cabot Tower - which is itself 105ft tall - showing its immense scale. Rainbows are an optical phenomenon that occur when the sun shines on to moisture droplets in the atmosphere. 

This set of footprints in freezing rain was snapped in Lexington, Kentucky, USA on 16 December, 2010. Rain that falls and becomes ‘supercooled’ when surface temperatures are below freezing point can freeze on impact with anything it touches, unlike snow which remains only partially frozen. The resulting ice is known as glaze. Freezing rain is one of the deadliest weather conditions, bringing down power line and causing numerous road traffic accidents and personal injury.

This example of smog was pictured hanging over Moscow, on 7 August, 2010, and was caused by the billowing smoke from peat bog and forest fires. Smog was originally a description of the pollution resulting from factory smoke and fog in the 1900s. Today it’s more often caused when sunlight reacts with car exhaust, coal power plants or factory emissions and the compounds released from petrol, paints and solvents.

This crashing wave was caused by the approaching of the Hurricane Earl in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, in August, 2010. Earl battered some islands across the northeastern Caribbean with heavy rain and roof-ripping winds, rapidly intensifying into a major storm on a path projected to menace the United States. Hurricanes are triggered by low pressure areas forming over warm ocean waters.

In March 2011, the 'supermoon' was the closest it had been to earth for18 years lighting up the night sky from just 221,567 miles (356,577 kilometers) away. This snap was taken from Huntington Beach in Los Angeles.

Rainstorms come and go, but not usually as dramatically as this downpour which completely flooded the town of Wuzhou in southwest China on 9 June, 2010, proving that the trusty umbrella isn’t always protection enough...

Ash covered everything for thousands of miles after the eruption of Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano in May 2011 sent clouds of ash high into the air, carrying it toward the European continent on the wind, disrupting flights for the second time in less than a year.

This magnificent lightning strike hit a tower during a thunderstorm in Zurich, Switzerland on 12 August, 2010. Lightning occurs when the balance between the negative charge of storm clouds and the positive charge of the earth is redressed by a current passing between the two - with literally stunning results.

This halo around the sun was photographed  on the island of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Circle on 19 April, 2011. These halos - spectacular and eerie at the same time - are caused by ice crystals in high clouds. They tend to occur during the summer months, during ‘midnight sun’ season in the Arctic and Antarctic Circles.


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The world's strangest places
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Giant crack appears in Mexico

Visit the mysterious island of Socotra and you'd be forgiven for thinking you were on another planet. Part of a group of islands off the African coast, this place teems with more than 800 rare species of flora and fauna, many of which can't be found anywhere else on earth. 

Want to go there? The best time for wildlife enthusiasts to visit is between January and May. Flights run from Sana'a Airport, the capital of Yemen. There is a growing offering of tourist accommodation. Visit Socotra Eco Tours for more.

This incredible rock formation is the result of hundreds of millions of years of erosion: the stripes are caused by leaking minerals in the rock.

Want to go there? Simple! You just need to drive four hours east from Perth...

This huge hole in the sea off the coast of Belize is so large and deeply blue that it's visible from space. It's believed to have formed after the Ice Age, when ice melted into the sea, covering a giant collection of caves. It's a popular spot with divers as it brims with aquatic life.

Want to go there? Take a 75-minute ferry trip from Belize city or a 20-minute flight to San Pedro.

These ancient rock formations on the Otago coast of New Zealand are believed to date back more than 60 million years. The largest boulders weigh seven tonnes. Mauri ledgend tells that the boulders are remains of eel baskets, while locals call them "giants' gobstoppers".

Want to go there?  Have a look at our guide to New Zealand for more information.

Nestled in the heart of Cappadocia in central Antolia, this eerie national park is composed of strange rocks shaped over centuries out of eroded volcanic stone.

Want to go there? The park can be reached on foot from Goreme village, where there is a plethora of hotels and pensions. Best time to visit is March til November.

These 'elephants' are part of train of gigantic pink granite boulders perched on a hill These curious geologic formations were formed 1.5billion years ago out of magma being pushed to the surface.

I want to go there! Drive or book a coach tour from Las Vegas to the Valley of Fire.

Fancy an egg cooked on 'Sulfur Mountain'? The vents on this volcano are permanently steaming and smoking, and vendors sell eggs that have been cooked by the natural heat. 

Want to go there? Iozan is part of Akan National Park, just outside the hot spring resort of Kawayu Onsen. Main gateways to the park are Kitami and Bihoro in the north, and Kushriro in the south.

This fairytale-like cascade of thermal spring waters is a unique natural site considered by many to have healing properties (the waters have been used since Roman times). The springs are laden with calcerous salts which have created plateaus, stalactites and basins to form Pummukkale, which literally means "Cotton Castle".

Want to go there? The springs are about 30km from Bodrum by car, or you can book a day trip from the city. If you want to stay, there are limited options, but the nearby town of Denizli is a safer bet for accommodation.

Green Sand Beach, or Papakolea, is one of only two green sand beaches in the world. Sitting on the sotuthern tip of Hawaii's Big Island, the sand is a distinctive olive green colour caused by a now extinct volcano.

Want to go there? Green Sand Beach is pretty isolated - you'll need to take a three hour drive from the nearest resort along the Kohola Coast.

Huge craters, steaming ground, sinister rock formations, hot water springs and lime green water: the Devil's Bath has to be seen to be believed. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua is New Zealand's most diverse geothermal area.

Want to go there? Rotorua is a three-hour drive from Auckland and is well served by hotels and visitor centres. Visit RotoruaNZ for more.

Don't miss The world's strangest places

Thousands of delicately carved spires rise in brilliant colour from the rock amphitheatres,  created by millions of years of wind, water and geologic mayhem.

Want to go there? Take a day tour from Las Vegas or spend some quality time and stay overnight in one of the many lodges nearby.

What makes these volcanic lakes so special? Well, they actually change colour from green to blue, red and black. The locals believe that The Lake of Old People, Lake of Young Men and Maidens and The Enchanted Lake are the spiritual resting place of their ancestors and change colour depending on the moods of the spirits. Don't be tempted to get too c lose though, in 1995 a Dutch tourist fell into one of the lakes and his body was never recovered.

Want to visit here? Kelimutu is in the centre of Flores and tourists start their trek from the small village of Moni, nine miles from the lakes.

Mount Roraima has sheer, plummeting, 400-meter high cliffs and is bordered by three different countries - Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana. It sits in Guyana's Highland Range, some of the oldest geological formations known to man and is home to its own ecosystem, the world's highest waterfalls and unique wildlife like the carnivorous pitcher plant.

Want to visit here? The cliff walls can only be tackled by experienced climbers but there is a hiking path that occurs naturally in the mountainside. See for holiday ideas.

An hour from Senegal's capital is Lake Retba, a vividly pink lake surrounded by sand dunes. The lake has a salt content similar to the Dead Sea and its distinctive colour comes from the Dunaliella salina algae. Not much lives in the lake and locals use it to mine salt and promote tourism in the area.

When to go: The lake is pinkest during the dry season from November to June.

Deweze, or The Door to Hell, as it is more commonly known, is found in the middle of the Karakum Desert. It was discovered in 1971 when Soviet geologists drilled into a cavern filled with natural gas. The ground collapsed revealing a huge hole filled with poisonous gases. To avoid the discharge they decided to try and burn the gasses away and it's still burning today.

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