The Lake Peigneur Sinkhole Disaster of 1980: When The Earth Swallowed a Lake
by Ashley Dreiling
November 20, 1980, was a calm day at Louisiana‘s Lake Peigneur, located about nine miles north of Vermilion Bay in the Gulf of Mexico, until a Texaco oil drill bit struck a large salt dome beneath the water, causing a cataclysmic disaster. Within three hours, a giant whirlpool formed and sucked in barges, buildings, trucks, a parking lot, and some of the surrounding botanical gardens.
What caused the catastrophic error and why did the lake disappear so quickly?
Watch the video to learn step-by-step how the Lake Peigneur sinkhole disaster unfolded, the people involved, and its environmental impact.