From Sinkholes to Mines to Stepwells - 10 Amazing Holes In The Earth
Kalgoorlie Super Pit, South Australia
In a country that is home to quite a bit of mining, as scientists discover that Down Under has plenty of gold and other gems and minerals left, Kalgoorlie takes the fairy cake. Usually just called The Super Pit, it is 570 meters deep, and it is long enough and wide enough to be visible from space. Unlike many of the holes on this list, the Super Pit is still growing, and it is expected to do so until 2017.
Just outside of Calama, in the northern part of Chile, Chuqui is the biggest open pit copper mine in the world by sheer volume of dirt that has been excavated, and at 850 meters, the second deepest open-pit mine in the world. It's also possibly one of the longest-mined patches of land in the world – in 1899, a mummy was found in an ancient mine shaft that dated back to the 6th century. The area was a disorganized mix of shafts until 1911, when industrialists began to buy up and consolidate the claims. In 1926, all the claims were under one company, and the clearing of the open pit began. It has the largest production output of any mine in the world. The good news is that it won't be growing much more – Codelco, the company that owns the mine, is going to switch to underground mining.