On Monday, a 65-year-old woman in Guatemala City was shocked by a loud boom, which she assumed was the explosion of a neighbor's gas canister. She was even more surprised to find that it was a 40 feet deep, 32 inch wide sinkhole that had formed beneath her bed.
It's the kind of stuff you find in scary movies, but never think could actually happen in your own home. As a kid, you're told don't look under the bed, but you'd never expect to find a giant chasm in the earth.
Sinkholes are actually more common than you may think, particularly in Guatemala City. The area is prone to these gaping holes because it is built on volcanic deposits and has a heavy annual rainfall. The people of Guatemala City are increasingly unable to trust what's beneath their feet.
A giant sinkhole that formed nearby in 2007 was 150m deep and swallowed several homes and a truck, killing three people. Local residents were forced to evacuate for days.
A 2010 sinkhole also in the same area measuring 20m wide and about 30m deep swallowed a three-story building and a nearby house.
Sinkholes can form gradually, but are often sudden and unexpected.