Earlier this spring, residents of a rural community in Louisiana’s Assumption Parish noticed mysterious bubbles rising to the surface in some bayous. Shortly thereafter, a series of small earthquakes shook the area, prompting state officials to investigate. But in Early August, the ground suddenly opened up and gave way — swallowing up acres of swamp forest. In its place there is now a gaping sinkhole filled with water, underground brines, oil, and natural gas. But this was no natural disaster, say geologists.