Sinkhole alabama  A couple days ago I wrote about the sinkholes that have been forming all over the earth in recent times.   People have been telling me  that those photos were “eerie,”  “scary,”   and “unsettling.”     And I could have presented thirty more if I wanted to!

I wrote that I had heard an explanation that seemed to me rather plausible.   (Eliminating the underground landslides and the broken underground water mains and old wells and salt mines,  we are still left with an extraordinary number of sinkholes. )

planets forming

So.    The meatball explanation.   I got the idea for this analogy from the Cooking Channel.   There is a theory that the planets formed around our sun by cooling and condensing,   changing from gaseous blobs flung out from a new star into neatly orbiting consolidated, individual planets.    And so we have the Earth, a hard-packed ball of … dirt and stuff, at least on its outermost layers, a coalesced sphere of condensed raw planetary materials.    (above)

Below are the raw materials for my meatballs:

SAMSUNGI make meatballs and spaghetti every once in a while – and I’ve been doing it for so long that i don’t exactly have a recipe, however, as you know,  start with meat.   Good meat.   This is ground beefalo, grass fed, no hormones, quite lean.

Add whatever spices you’re in the mood for that day.  Let’s see, today was:

salt and pepper

garlic powder and onion powder

a little allspice

a little thyme

some roast beef rub

Then you need some “binders.”


Italian bread crumbs

an egg

maybe  milk or half and half or cream, if necessary, (but it wasn’t today)

And now comes the Geology part:    Remember those planetary balls that coalesced and condensed down into hard-packed planets?        Well,   as celestial bodies (planets or stars)  age,  they get bigger.   Reasons have to do with speed of rotation changing slightly,  variations in star temperatures,  lessening gravity….other things we don’t know about too well yet.

We do know, from observation,  that even the outer planets, Neptune and Pluto (yes!  Pluto, still)   are increasing in size and also getting “fluffier”   and we think it has to do with increased energy output from our aging sun, although we haven’t decided quite why that is happening.

When a planet increases in size, but not in its mass,  the mass itself,  the planetary “material,”   isn’t packed as hard together as before.   Same mass,  bigger size;  so the planet begins to “spread out,”  forming pockets,  void pockets here and there.    From the surface they look like sinkholes.

It works for meatballs too.   You have two choices when you form the meatballs –  either hard-packed:


Or you can make them a little fluffier:


Here’s where the Cooking Channel comes in.   Different coloration there,  but the meatballs are pretty much the same size,  I just packed the one in the top photo harder together and the one in the lower photo is lightly packed.    The guy on the Food Channel said that in order to keep the meatballs tender,  don’t pack them too hard, just enough to form a ball.

Now, I just made a meatloaf last week, and I packed that really hard and tight because I like a dense meatloaf.  Makes good meatloaf sandwiches – and the slices are delicious reheated on a BBQ grill!   I used to tightly pack my meatballs too, but I decided to take the advice from the professional chef I had heard.

Now I had to work with these “lightly packed” meatballs – very gently, so they wouldn’t break apart.   And, as they were cooking,  much to my surprise –

SAMSUNG – as I gently turned them over from side to side,  I noticed that little “sinkholes”  had formed!

Now, I’ve made the sauce and meatballs and sauce have met each other, and in day or two it’s going to be really, really delicious!

I’ll just have to let Mother Nature take care of her own sinkholes;  and I’ll let the scientists come up with the “recipe.”


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  1. […] to illustrate a theory about the cause of all the sinkholes we are experiencing around the earth.  “Sinkholes:  the Meatball Explanation”   — and I’m quite sure I didn’t really make my point clearly […]

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