Sima Humboldt & Sima Martel


We present you Sima Humboldt and Sima Martel - Two massive sinkholes placed high up on the summit of the Sarisariñama tepui in Bolivar, Venezuela.  

They were first spotted in 1961 by the pilot Harry Gibson. Because of their remote location, they were first explored in the mid-70s, during which scientists discovered a unique weathering process which carved them as well as the formation of forest at the bottom of each sinkhole. 

Sima Humboldt’s volume is 18,000,000 m(640,000,000 cu ft), whereas the maximum width at its upper rim is 352 m (1,155 ft) and 502 m (1,647 ft) below.


Sima Martel was named after the so-called “father of modern speleology, Édouard-Alfred Martel. The larger one – Sima Humboldt was named after the German explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt. Often the simpler names are used instead: Sima Major (Large Sinkhole) and Sima Menor (Small Sinkhole).


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