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Qurayyat, Oman

Bimmah Sinkhole

A sinkhole turned swimming hole, full of dazzling turquoise water. 

Long attributed to a meteorite, this beautiful swimming hole is actually a naturally occurring sinkhole.

Sinkholes are often the result of groundwater eating away at rocks like limestone and carbonate. Caverns form as the rocks dissolve, and eventually the ground above caves in, sometimes taking cars, houses, and even the occasional pizza place with it.

In Northern Oman, just off the road between Dibab and Bimmah, there’s a particularly beautiful example of the natural phenomena. In an otherwise flat area, a sinkhole formed about a third of a mile from the sea, resulting in a turquoise mix of fresh and salt water.

Geologists have confirmed the 65-foot deep pool is in fact a sinkhole, but locals hold on to the legend that a meteorite hit the spot. When the local municipality developed the area into a park to preserve and protect the hole, the name Haweat Najm (The Falling Star) Park was chosen.

A large concrete staircase sticks out among the natural landscape, but offers a less precarious way down to the picturesque pool. Many folks just go to admire its beauty, or dip their feet in the vividly blue-green water for a fish-administered pedicure of sorts. Still some take full advantage of the salty water, diving from the cliffs within the cavern.

Know Before You Go

There are basic bathrooms at the entry of the park where one can change into a swimsuit.