03/01/2013 03:38 pm ET Updated Mar 05, 2013

Killer Sinkholes: Unexpected Holes Swallow Entire Families, Cars And Homes (PHOTOS)

It's horrifying to think that a sinkhole could open up under a person's bed and swallow him whole, like it did Thursday night in Florida.

Sinkholes, like the one about 30-feet across that killed Jeff Bush, have been unexpected killers across the world. They're often caused by heavy rainfall or poor drainage in urban areas, but they can be as unexpected as spontaneous combustion in humans.

Possibly the scariest of holes is the Guatemala sinkhole of 2010, a 60-foot mammoth that appears to take up a whole block, and swallowed a three-story building, according to National Geographic. It opened up during Hurricane Agatha, which spewed more than four inches of rain in just 12 hours on Guatemala City, killing at least 15 people.

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Gigantic Sinkholes

In August last year, the ground broke beneath people in two separate incidents. Surveillance footage captured the ground giving way beneath a man in Taiwan in a split second. A rescue operation was attempted, but he later died of his injuries. In Idaho during the same month, gophers were the cause of a sinkhole on a highway that killed 32-year-old Sonia Lopez when she crashed her car into it.

In July 2011, a 15-year-old girl died when heavy rains opened up a hole on a Utah highway, swallowing the car she was in.

Not all sinkholes are deadly.

Just a month ago, passersby looked on in horror as a massive hole opened in Guangzhou, China, and swallowed an entire building complex near a new, underground train station.