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Everything’s Bigger in Texas and the West Texas Wink Sinkholes are No Exception

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The Wink sinkholes are not unfamiliar to the average Texan, and not even to many outside of our fair state. But for those that need a refresher, and those that are simply curious, the vast expanse that is known as West Texas is home to many things, not the least of which are deep depressions in the earth, cavernous, wide, and apparently expanding.

Everything’s Bigger in Texas And The West Texas Wink Sinkholes Are No Exception

Photo: Facebook/Activista Fara Frontiere

Wink has an estimated population as of 2015, according to the US Census Bureau, of just over 1,000 people. It’s quiet and friendly like most small Texas towns, but it has one stand-out feature that many townspeople would probably rather wish didn’t exist. Back in 1980, a local oil company contractor who was performing an inspection on pipelines just north of town noticed a nearby splash. Finding it odd that this would take place in a normally flat, dry field, he moved closer to investigate and discovered a 20-foot-wide sinkhole. At the time, its depth measured four stories to the water down below, and within a two-hour window, its width grew to a diameter of 100 feet. By the following day, it had opened as wide as 350 feet and was cause for major concern, considering it was located close to a field of oil storage tanks on one side, and a few hundred yards from local highway access on the other. Neither was threatened over the next several weeks, however, when the sinkhole development subsided, a water line and a utility pole were casualties in the process.

Everything’s Bigger in Texas And The West Texas Wink Sinkholes Are No Exception

Photo: Facebook/Kenny Mcgee

Nicknamed the “Wink Sink”, the town became less worried about the matter as time passed, and the earth in the area appeared to stabilize. Then in 2002, a second similar sinkhole appeared, and this time it was a mile and a half from town. In keeping with the original naming process, locals dubbed it “Wink Sink 2”, however, this hole started out at approximately the size in which the first hole ended, and its growth continued at approximately 10 feet per day, continuing to expand. Now more than 750 feet wide and over 1,000 feet long, Wink Sink 2 is larger than its predecessor and has swallowed up outer fencing barriers twice, which were established as approximate safe perimeters.

Everything’s Bigger in Texas And The West Texas Wink Sinkholes Are No Exception
Photo: Facebook/A Slice of Texas

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