A Desert In Arizona Has Been Split Wide Open By A 2-Mile Crack

A massive crack has appeared in the Arizona desert, and scientists are saying that more are on the way.

The 2-mile fissure is located in the Tator Hills. It’s actually not the first of its kind; the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) has actually mapped a total of eleven miles of cracks in the desert terrain of the hills since 1977. However, this new crack is the longest yet recorded in the area.

This fissure is about 13 miles south of Arizona City. Researchers believe it appeared in late 2016, but the AZGS only announced the existence of the crack earlier this week.

This cracking phenomenon first began in the early 1900s when people began to pump water from the natural, underground aquifers faster than those water reserves could be replenished. In fact, water is being pumped out almost 500 times faster than the aquifers can keep up with. When the subterranean water in a particular area is all gone, the ground begins to rupture along the edges of these dried up, “alluvial basins.”

As you might expect, these cracks are dangerous. They have been known to appear suddenly and swallow entire homes and destroy highways. The fissures can widen and deepen without warning after heavy rains in particular.

The Arizona Geological Survey cautions that as long as the desert’s aquifers are drained at this rate, more cracks will continue to appear. There’s nothing we can do to heal the fissures, and the best way to stay safe is to simply stay away.

If you’re dying for a look at this new fissure, but don’t literally want to die for it, check out this incredible aerial drone footage of the crack.