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No. 78: Nov-Dec 1991

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Degruyerizing Switzerland

Some of those astounding "holes" in the integument of Switzerland have been made less mysterious by one of our Swiss readers. Two holes, which we did not mention specifically, have turned out to be a hoax and a mundane sinkhole. The hole at Confignon, which we did pinpoint, was actually 66 feet in diameter and 40 feet deep; but, according to the official geologist of the Geneva Canton, it was simply subsidence due to the drilling of a tunnel. Only the hole at Begnins (actually discovered December 15, 1982) retains an aura of mystery:

"The case was investigated by the official geologist of the Vaud Canton, who found no rational explanation. He put forward the hypothesis of the existence of an old gallery for the harnessing of water. Unfortunately, the verification of his hypothesis would be too expensive, so the hole was filled up."

(Mancusi, Bruno; personal communication, September 8, 1991.)

From Science Frontiers #78, NOV-DEC 1991. 1991-2000 William R. Corliss