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On Friday night, it was a perfectly ordinary, perfectly flat, cornfield.
By Saturday morning, it was riven in two by a vast trench up to 100ft across, 15ft deep and 200 yards long.
The enormous gully - so big that locals have called it 'the Grand Canyon of Durham' - is believed to have been formed in a matter of minutes when millions of gallons of floodwater from surrounding farmland suddenly tore through the soil towards the River Wear.
There was speculation that the flood had exposed the original course of the Wear, which was altered by monks in the 15th or 16th century.