Pozo de las Animas or the “Well of Souls” is a pair of two spectacular sinkholes located in Mendoza province, in Argentina, along Provincial Route 222 near the village of Los Molles. Both sinkholes were created by the collapse of underground voids created by the dissolution of gypsum deposits by groundwater. The holes are divided from each other by a thin crumbling wall, which is assumed that over the years will eventually erode away to unite the two wells into one.
The Northern sinkhole has steep, crumbling sides and it is dangerous to approach the rims of it, as the sinkhole is still eroding. The sinkhole is roughly 300 m across and 101 m deep, of which the bottom 21 m is filled with water. The Southern sinkhole exceeds 300m in diameter, but is visually less impressive. The slopes of this sinkhole are less steep and covered with sparse vegetation. There is a small, light blue lake on the bottom of sinkhole. The water level and the size of the lake is changing.
The name derives from an ancient Aboriginal legend that a group of Indians were being chased by a rival group. When the night came, the pursuers could not see their enemies anymore upon which they returned to their homes. The next morning they went back to search for their enemies and on reaching the scene, began to hear moans and calls of distress. Advancing cautiously, they found to their great surprise that two huge wells had sunk beneath the feet of their enemies, and people were dying in the rising waters of lakes at the bottom of wells.
The wells were since been called as "the place where souls cry" and is a place of worship.
Panorama of the two sinkholes. Photo credit
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