Tests are to take place to determine why the ground opened up in a Mississippi city, swallowing 12 cars in a restaurant car park.
The large gash, some 400ft (120m) long and 35ft (11m) wide, opened up late on Saturday in Meridian, near the Alabama state line.
The area had suffered heavy rains over the past two weeks, the Dailyreleased newspaper reported.
No-one was injured, and engineers will assess the ground on Monday.
Buck Roberts, the director of public safety in Meridian, told the newspaper it did not appear to be a sinkhole, which is usually caused when an underground water aquifer dries and the ground above it collapses.
“You can call it what you want, a cave-in or whatever, but it is not a sinkhole,” Mr Roberts said.