Welcome to the biggest hole in the planet


Blackleaf
#1
Welcome to the biggest hole in the planet

14th March 2007


The world's biggest country, Russia, has the world's biggest hole.


It began life as a fox hole in a remote ravine. But after an eagle-eyed geologist spotted its potential as a diamond mine, it grew and grew... and grew.

Today, 50 years after its discovery, the Mir Diamond Pipe in eastern Siberia is the biggest man-made hole in the world.






It plunges 574 yards into the frozen earth and its vast mouth has a diameter of almost one mile, making it clearly visible from Space.

The 220-ton rock-hauling trucks that labour down the spiralling road to its bottom take two hours to travel back up to its lip and look like matchbox toys against the gargantuan rock face.

The mine — known in Russian as a trubka — is now largely disused since its official closure in April 2004, but its legend lives on.





The herders and fishermen turned miners, who struggled to survive winter temperatures of -60c and short, insect-infested summers, say that when God made the world, his hand stopped as it passed over the area, spilling treasures across this frozen wilderness, 5,000 miles east of Moscow.

At its peak, the Mir mine produced on average 2 million carats of rough diamonds a year, worth at least 20million, and with nearby mines was responsible for 23 per cent of the world's rough diamonds.

The largest ones were the size of golf balls, including the 130.85 carat Olonkho diamond, worth about 250,000.

The town of Mirny, which clings precariously to the rim of the mine, was settled by prospectors in 1955.





That spring, a young geologist came across a fox hole in a ravine which had tell-tale blue earth. He had discovered a "pipe" — an area where a volcanic surge has brought to the surface a layer of bluish rock, called kimberlite, which plays host to diamonds.

When his news was relayed back to Moscow, the digging began. Jet engines were used to blast holes in the permafrost and dynamite was used to excavate the surface rock and loosen the kimberlite ore.
Once at the surface, the ore is crushed so that the diamonds can be picked out, cleaned with acid and sorted by hand.

Today, Mirny is visited by few outsiders thanks to a combination of red tape and appalling weather conditions.

The hole in the Earth's crust is so vast that it creates a vortex, which is said to suck helicopters and small aircraft into its maw.

No one knows what will become of this astonishing feat of engineering. Some call it a scar on the environment, but others appear in awe of the hole that produced such extraordinary bounty.

dailymail.co.uk
 
DurkaDurka
#2
That's where Putin has journalists thrown if they dare criticize his rule.
 
Tonington
#3
I wonder if he has one of these in the bottom of the pit
 
L Gilbert
#4
Hey. That's where I'm going golfing next. Maybe then I could get the ball in the cup.
 
DurkaDurka
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

I wonder if he has one of these in the bottom of the pit

need a lightsaber if you go near that thing.
 
L Gilbert
#6
What is that anyway? Looks like a carnivorous plant in a hole.
 
DurkaDurka
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

What is that anyway? Looks like a carnivorous plant in a hole.

Return of the Jedi. You don't remember the scene with that thing? Hans Solo was going to be executed by being thrown off Jab the Huts barge into that hole.
 
L Gilbert
#8
lol. Movies n whatnot don't stick around in my head that long. I have vague memories of a few events in movies but they aren't that important in my life so I don't remember them that well. Makes it ok when I watch em again a few years later. I can enjoy them all over again.
 
thomaska
#9
Thought this was a thread about my ex-wife...
 
L Gilbert
#10
She's visible from space?

lol
 
DurkaDurka
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

lol. Movies n whatnot don't stick around in my head that long. I have vague memories of a few events in movies but they aren't that important in my life so I don't remember them that well. Makes it ok when I watch em again a few years later. I can enjoy them all over again.

your dvd collection never gets stale eh?
 
DurkaDurka
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by thomaskaView Post

Thought this was a thread about my ex-wife...

feel free to make it about her if you want.
 
L Gilbert
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

your dvd collection never gets stale eh?

Nope. VHS actually. I lend em out, they rarely come back. I have Pink Floyd's "The Wall", "Pulse" the movie, and "Pulse" the Pink Floyd concert on DVD. Total collection of 3 dvds. (Um, "Pulse" the movie was a booboo, haven't watched it yet.)
Oh, I have one skin flick on dvd, too. 4 dvds.
 
DurkaDurka
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Nope. VHS actually. I lend em out, they rarely come back. I have Pink Floyd's "The Wall", "Pulse" the movie, and "Pulse" the Pink Floyd concert on DVD. Total collection of 3 dvds. (Um, "Pulse" the movie was a booboo, haven't watched it yet.)
Oh, I have one skin flick on dvd, too. 4 dvds.

you gotta have the skin flicks on DVD, get the whole surround sound experience and the commentaries, lol.
 
L Gilbert
#15
The commentaries come from my wife. .
 
DurkaDurka
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

The commentaries come from my wife. .

lmao. At least she's not confiscating them.
 
#juan
#17
There is a bigger hole in the ground, another open pit mine near Salt Lake City.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennecott_Copper_Mine (external - login to view)
 
El Barto
#18
That doesn't look much bigger than the Asbestos mine
 
eh1eh
#19
When you're talking about big holes it's wide open. Pun intended.
 
eh1eh
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by El BartoView Post

That doesn't look much bigger than the Asbestos mine

You're right, the asbestos mine is about the same diameter but not quite as deep. 350 metres deep.
But still a mile across. Info (external - login to view), info (external - login to view), more info (external - login to view).
 
El Barto
#21
funny that things are always deeper elsewhere
 
eh1eh
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by El BartoView Post

funny that things are always deeper elsewhere

We can only take it so deep in Canada.
 
El Barto
#23
Must be the cold
 
L Gilbert
#24
Ain't the size that counts, it's what you do with it, right? lol
 
El Barto
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

Ain't the size that counts, it's what you do with it, right? lol

Dad am I getting the talk on the birds and the bees?
 
L Gilbert
#26
I'm busy, go ask yer mother.
 
El Barto
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

I'm busy, go ask yer mother.

pass the buck .
lol
 
eh1eh
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

I'm busy, go ask yer mother.

I did and she said 'Don't call me a hole son'.
 
eh1eh
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by El BartoView Post

Must be the cold

LOL Shrinkage.
 
L Gilbert
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by eh1ehView Post

I did and she said 'Don't call me a hole son'.

You can't fool me, you ain't EBart. You're the next door neighbor's kid.
 

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