Engineers Went Searching For Diamonds, But What They Encountered Still Puzzles Scientists Years Later
For centuries, mankind has proven time and time again that it can change the natural world with technology and resource mining. And because these are often harmful practice, Mother Nature fights back. Just ask these Russian geologists who suffered the wrath of Mother Nature after performing a routine mine dig searching for diamonds. This is one case when some things really aren’t worth it.
Trying To Keep The Country Alive
After World War II, the Soviet government needed to find more ways to support its struggling economy. As the nation veered toward collapsing, Soviet officials thought of a new way to keep the country alive: searching for diamonds and gold in the dangerous Siberian wilderness.
Making The Dangerous Trip
Three geologists — Yuri Khabardin, Ekaterina Elagina, and Viktor Avdeenko — began the perilous trip into the Siberian wilderness. After a 5,000-mile journey, they finally discovered something that made the trip worth it: a massive vein of the volcanic rock kimberlite. The rich mineral was the jackpot win for the Soviet government, and that’s when officials decided to send the geologists on a mine dig.
A Deadly Expedition
The geologists began a dangerous three-year mine dig to search for more treasures. The scientists were hopeful they would discover more precious stones, like the kimberlite, but the expedition quickly became deadly. Because of the harsh Siberian winter weather and climate, the geologists were helpless against Mother Nature. Even dynamite and jet engines couldn’t penetrate the layers of permafrost.
Warm Weather Didn’t Help
You would think the warm weather would help, but it was just the opposite. When the warm weather managed to finally roll around, the permafrost melted and created a gigantic hole of slush that sucked the men and their machinery into its depths. The hole grew deeper and deeper, and it quickly exhibited strange qualities, like sucking anything that was in sight. It was like a black hole had formed on Earth.
The End Of The Road
This was, obviously, a deadly and horrific event. Soviet officials lost their geologists, as well as money on the expedition. But the hole finally stopped growing. In 1960, Russia opened up its mineral mine, called the Mir Mine, and it’s now the largest mineral mine in the world. By the end of the 1960s, the mine was producing 10 million carats of diamonds per year, which pleased the Russian government. But, was it really worth sacrificing lives? We’ll let you determine that on your own.
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