Natural depression or hole in the ground.

Sinkholes vary in size from 1 to 600 m (3.3 to 2,000 ft) both in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms. Sinkholes may form gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide.
Wikipedia, Sinkhole, 2018

In the northern part of Guatemala City, the downpour created a sinkhole the size of a street intersection. Residents told CNN that a three-story building and a house fell into the hole.
CNN, More than 175 dead from weekend storm in Central America, 2018

Sinkholes can suddenly swallow buildings. But 1400 years ago this was portrayed in the Quran:

[Quran 28.81] So We collapsed the earth beneath him and his house. He had no company to save him from Allah, and he could not defend himself.

The earth suddenly collapsed beneath him and his house. Today we know this is called a sinkhole.

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known about sinkholes?

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