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Missouri is called the “Cave State” in recognition of the fact that we have, within our state borders, 6,400 caves. Some of them are very large, and some of them are very small. Some of them are tourist attractions, and some of them are too small and narrow for even the most dedicated spelunker to find his way into. But all of them are a feature of Missouri’s karst geology.

Caves develop when underground water dissolves the underlying rock. In the case of our area, it is limestone and dolomite rock that is dissolved. And if that underground cave gets close enough to the surface…well, the surface is going to “cave” in, forming a hole in the ground. That hole is called a sinkhole.

The picture above is of Slaughter Sink, just outside our town. At a quarter of a mile wide, and 160 feet deep, it is one of the largest sinkholes in Missouri. One of its features is a promontory on which you can stand and look…seriously, don’t look down…look across, or around, but don’t look down!

I have been to Slaughter Sink one time, and I stood on that promontory…and, seriously, I did not look down! DANGER!

But I do have to admit I enjoyed that one visit, and was very proud of myself for being able to walk out onto that rock.

In response to the Weekly Photo Challenge