Mother Nature’s navel?

Ever wonder where the diamonds in your engagement ring came from? There is a chance they came from this ginormous open pit diamond mine (the world’s largest) near Mirny, Russia, East Siberia:

Mother Nature\'s belly button?

According to the U.S. Mine Rescue Association, the mine is 525 meters deep and a whopping 1200 meters in diameter. The air space over the mine is closed to helicopters due to a few accidents in which choppers were sucked into the pit by downward air flow!

WOW!

And notice that tiny red arrow in the photo above. That arrow is pointing to a full size, 2o-foot-tall BELAZ 220-pound payload truck! Wild, no?

8 Responses to “Mother Nature’s navel?”

  1. Diana March 16, 2007 at 12:35 pm #

    I have a picture of myself standing in front of a tire from a truck like that. The tire is taller than I am – I am 5’7.

  2. Twistie March 16, 2007 at 12:44 pm #

    Fascinating pics.

  3. Dianasaur March 16, 2007 at 1:11 pm #

    WOW

  4. Chloe March 16, 2007 at 2:06 pm #

    My fiance got me a certified Canadian diamond :-) Hey, if you live in a country that produces diamonds – why not?

  5. Never teh Bride March 16, 2007 at 2:19 pm #

    From what I’ve read, that’s one of the best ways to buy a diamond, Chloe!

  6. C* March 16, 2007 at 5:41 pm #

    My diamond is Canadian as well…my FI had it imported to the US. Hooray for alternatives to blood diamonds!

  7. Dataceptionist March 18, 2007 at 5:47 pm #

    no idea where mine came from *shame*
    big pit it is!!

  8. Ninjarina March 23, 2007 at 2:54 am #

    My crazy ex’s dad was responsible for opening up Siberia to the diamond trade in the early 90s. He ended up in prison for almost 10 years after being extradited from Greece for tax evasion and one of his colleagues hung himself in his cell. Money really does corrupt.

    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/culture/articles/980803/archive_004468_2.htm

    By the way, he’s out now and living in Russia but I don’t know what he does.