Lake Peigneur was at one point a shallow fresh water body that existed above the salt mine near Vermillion Bay in Louisiana. This all changed in November of 1980 when a drill bit owned by Texaco Oil Company dug a bit too deep into the bedrock of the lake and entered the salt mine below.
The 14 inch hole quickly expanded draining the entire shallow lake into the cavernous mine. The suction created a whirlpool that swallowed eleven barges, a drilling platform, and 65 acres of surrounding trees in it's wake. Eventually nine out of the eleven barges popped back to the surface once water pressure equalized.
Amazingly, no human lives were lost during this man-made disaster. All 55 miners were able to escape before being swallowed with the barges, and the Texaco workers were also quick enough to dodge the whirlpool.
But, the structure of Lake Peigneur was permanently altered. The force of the collapse caused the canal connecting the lake to Vermillion Bay to reverse the direction of it's flow. Geysers, caused by trapped air pockets beneath the new lake, erupted soaring 400 feet above the surface, and the water itself changed from fresh to salt due to reverse in flow, effecting the lake's ecosystem.