From Sinkholes to Mines to Stepwells - 10 Amazing Holes In The Earth
Darvaza Gas Crater, Turkmenistan
Scientists sometimes like to say that some of what we do to the Earth can open the door to hell. In this case, Soviet scientists did just that. While drilling for gasses, the ground collapsed under their drilling rig, leaving a massive hole. In order to clear the methane gas leaking out, the scientists decided to burn it off, thinking the burn would clear the gas out of the area within a day or two. 40 years later, the flame is still burning, and locals have dubbed the area the “Door to Hell” for the constant, sulfurous odor and flame.
Kimberley Diamond Mine, South Africa
When a mine is sometimes referred to as “The Big Hole,” you know they're not joking around. Aside from being massive, the Kimberley mine has the distinction of being dug by hand. It was also one of the deadliest mines to dig in the world, with living conditions and mine collapses leading to, at its lowest, a death rate of 1 out of every 50 miners yearly – at its highest, it was almost 4 out of every 50. It was closed down in 1914, and has since become a major tourist attraction.