Cool pictures of some really great big holes
Tina Scott sent me some pretty cool pictures earlier today -- basically a geography lesson on great big ol' whoppin' holes found various places in the world. She didn't have any volcano craters but still, this is pretty cool stuff.
Let's start with Mother Nature's handiwork.
Great Blue Hole, Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize.
This incredible geographical phenomenon known as a blue hole is situated sixty miles off the mainland of Belize. There are numerous blue holes around the world, but none more stunning than this one. It's almost a thousand feet in diameter and is more than 400 feet deep. (Take three Statues of Liberty and stack them on top of each other. You'll be able to see the top thirty feet of the third one's torch and arm sticking up out of the water.)
Guatemalan sinkhole of February 2007.
Two teenagers and their father dead. A thousand people evacuated. A 330-foot straight drop to the bottom. (The picture at the link may be even more stunning but is presumably copyrighted.)
Now let's see what the hand of man can pull off.
"Glory Hole" at Monticello Dam in California.
Remember when the spillway at Canyon Dam couldn't handle the flood flow a few years back and the lake overflowed over a saddle in the ring of hills surrounding it and ripped all hell out of the mountainside? Here's one way engineers try to keep that from happening: the "glory hole." This particular one is the glory hole at Monticello Dam, and it's the largest in the world of this type of spillway, its size enabling it to consume 14,400 cubic feet of water -- per second.
"Kimberley Big Hole", South African diamond mine
Claiming to be the largest ever hand-dug excavation in the world (though the Jagersfontein Mine claims to be slightly-bigger-though-not-as-deep, nyah, nyah), this 1,097-meter-deep mine yielded over three tons of diamonds before being closed. (That's 3,600 feet to Americans.)
And by the way, DeBeers has a message for all you husbands out there: "Diamonds -- Render Her Speechless." Or, as Ron White helpfully translates: "Diamonds -- that'll shut 'er up."
The Great Rat Hole
Finally we have mankind at its most destructive:
"This," adds Tina, "is the famous 'Rat Hole' that you may have heard about. It is capable of swallowing trillions and trillions of U.S. dollars annually, never to be heard from again. It is also reputed to contain at least 535 'Ass Holes.'"