Photographed by Bette Jackson
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Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. Sinks result from collapse of limestone rock that was eroded away by water. We sometimes find chains of sinks, one depression or sink hole after another following the course of an underground stream channeled through the rock. Leon Sinks on the Apalachicola National Forest in Leon County includes a chain of many linked sinks, gateways to the hidden world below. The trail to the sinkholes leads past several depressions, sink holes in the making, where the limestone is being dissolved by water seeping down from the surface. Rain is naturally slightly acidic and acidity of the water is increased by decay of pine needles and other ground litter. This acid water reacts with the limestone, hastening creation of the sink. In 1999, cave divers set a record by traveling more than 14,000 feet through submerged limestone caves from the Big Dismal Sink in Leon County to Cheryl Sink in Wakulla County. They thus demonstrated how unique cave crayfish and other creatures can become dispersed through a wide area, and how pollutants at one site might have an impact on distant cave communities.
'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.