Special Report: Lake Huron sinkholes

Great Lakes Echo explores the exotic life of Lake Huron sinkholes off the coast of northeast Michigan.


Lake Huron discovery is a window on the past and future: Lake Huron’s depths hide a colorful, ancient world that holds keys to the planet’s history and clues for new cancer treatments and antibiotics.


Lake Huron sinkholes give clues to ancient life: The scientists studying the Lake Huron sinkholes know the colorful bacteria they host have a prehistoric ancestry, but a major question remains: Where did it all come from?


Bacteria in Lake Huron sinkholes may hold keys to new cancer treatments, antibiotics: The colorful cyanobacteria coating the sinkholes in Lake Huron may be ancient, but researchers are hoping they will provide new medicines for cancer and infection treatments.


Sinkhole background information: Profiles of the three Lake Huron Sinkholes, how sinkholes form, and a sinkhole glossary.


  • Matt

    I grew up around these sinkholes and natural springs as a kid (inland locations) and never really thought they were special until I was older. We would hike and camp near them as part of scouting activities and family outings.

    I is amazing how diverse each hole is as far as their appearance, structure, and the organisms living in them. Some look like waterfilled quaries, some are mucky marshes with deep bottoms, some look like a normal lake, some have surface rivers over them (the Long Lake narrows), and some are blue holes in the big lake.

    One can find them all over Alpena and Presque Isle Counties. I know of a few as far west as Posen and Long Rapids which are miles inland from the big lake (Huron). I have also thought that several of the inland lakes are part of this system which seems to be a network of underground rivers/water shed to the big lake. These could include Long Lake, Grand Lake, as well as several other major lakes in the area as we often heard tales of springs within these lakes as well.

    Recently I had a chance to scuba dive one of the submerged sinkholes off old Rock Port Quarry with a friend from Thunder Bay Scuba. There was an enormous amount of bottom life and color in the area of the hole. These springs within the hole appear to provide an emormous amount of minerals to the aquadic life in and around the holes.

    If you get a chance to get to Alpena, look these areas up and take a hike or a dive as they provide a neat experience if you know what you are looking at (that is if the area’s shipwrecks, fishing, hunting, watercraft and other outdoor activities aren’t enough for you.