Offbeat

Some of the Most Fascinating Holes in Earth

Holes are not usually thought of as things that can be fascinating, but some of them certainly are. Here are a few examples of mysterious craters, some man-made, some natural from all over this baffling world.

The “Great Blue Hole” which is located in Belize’s Barrier Reef Reserve System, is believed to be the world’s largest sea-hole. Located some 60 miles from Belize City, this enormous crater with its almost circular shape developed as a result of a natural increase in sea level that occurred some 65,000 years ago. It is 125 meters (393 feet) deep and 300 meters (984 feet) wide and it is a favorite haunt of scuba divers who come to behold the rare fish and fauna species that can be found nowhere else on earth.

In Canada, the Diavik Diamond Mine is so huge and the area so remote that it actually has its own airport and a runway large enough to accommodate a Boeing 737! Located about 186 miles north of Yellowknife, the mine produces 8 million carats (3,500 lb) of diamonds annually.

The result of a Soviet gas exploration accident in the 1950’s, the Darvaza Gas Crater also known as the Burning Gates, emits a glow that can be seen for miles around. Located in the Karakum desert of Turkmenistan, the immense crater measures roughly 60 meters (196 feet) in diameter and 20 meters (65 feet) deep. When it was first discovered a flame was lit and it still burns to this day. The smell of sulfur is quite powerful the closer one gets to the hot edge of the crater.

The Monticello Dam, which is located in northern California, has a giant, cement, funnel-shaped spillway that allows water to bypass the dam when it reaches capacity. From the funnel to the exit point is a distance of some 700 feet The hole’s largest diameter is 72 feet, and at its narrowest point it measures about 28 feet. Swimming near this “glory hole” can prove to be a lethal adventure not to mention very stupid. Boaters and swimmers are discouraged from venturing too close and buoys are strung all across the lake.

The Bingham Canyon Mine in Salt Lake County, Utah, is the largest man-made excavation and open-pit mine on earth. Also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, it measures 2½ miles across, and ¾ mile deep. This mine is America’s second largest copper producer, providing 15% of the nation’s needs. Along the deep canyon walls were many residential communities that had settled the area as far back as the 1870s, and today mining operations continue unabated.

The Mirny Diamond Mine in Siberia is the largest open diamond mine in the world. Measuring 525 meters (1,722 ft) deep, it has a diameter of 1,200 m (3,900 ft). After the Bingham Canyon Mine, this hole is the second largest excavated in the world. Due to a few accidents in which copters were sucked inward because of the powerful downward air flow, the airspace above the mine is closed to helicopters.

These are just a few of some fascinating holes that can be found throughout the world.

Search out some more, if you dare, but be careful.

Don’t fall in!

Leave a Comment