Of all the ways humans have altered the Earth, mining must be one of the most awesome—just for the sheer ratio of Earth excavated to metals and gems recovered. Still, it's hard to visualize just how much a single mine has netted in numbers, which is why For What It's Worth is so interesting.
When most of us think of what humans will leave behind when we go, we imagine skeleton buildings or toxic landfills. But according to some geologists, the longest-lasting impact we'll have on Earth is actually beneath our feet—in the form millions of tunnels, deep boreholes, and mines.
A few weeks ago, we looked at a photo essay on Mir Mine, a nearly mile-wide mine in Eastern Siberia that's one of the largest man-made holes on Earth's surface. It made us wonder: Where the largest hole ever made by humans? As it turns out, it's right here in the United States.
Boyers, Pennsylvania, is home to the Iron Mountain storage facility, a former limestone mine that is now the storage site of more than 15 million photographic negatives and prints, all preserved hundreds of feet underground. This documentary, produced by the Hillman Photography Initiative, takes you inside for a…
Climb into a sinkhole of bureaucracy in Pennsylvania (no, really, it's a cave), explore San Francisco's most storied structure (not the Golden Gate bridge), and jet off to to Myanmar (or is it Burma?). Plus, SCARY CLOWNS! In this week's Urban Reads.
Today I found out about the use of exploding anti-tank dogs during World War II. These dogs, usually Alsatians, were also called "Hundminen" or "dog mines." They were trained to carry explosives on their bodies to enemy tanks, where they would then be detonated. No, it did not end very well for the dogs in question.
As the pace of robotic integration into the modern workforce continues to increase, automatons are finding their way into an ever wider variety of industries. Already making an impact in the agricultural sector, automatons are now poised to perform the task of driving massive, house-sized mining trucks—a job once held…
Even though Iran has backed away from from its threats to lace the Strait of Hormuz with mines, militaries around the world (the US included) continue to employ the devices in large numbers—as much as 200 times as often as any other kind of maritime weapon. So, to augment the DoD's aging fleet of Avenger-class…
If opulent isn’t an adjective you’d immediately associate with the mining profession, then you’ve clearly never had a peek inside Poland’s Wieliczka Salt Mine. The subterranean marvel (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) has been operational since the first shafts were dug way back in the 13th century, but the decor has…
Post-industrial cities have long struggled to find new uses for the (often gargantuan) factory infrastructure that once made their towns boom. Usually, that means a park or a museum. But a few cities—like Genk, Belgium—have tried a more experimental approach, turning these decrepit sites into unusual creative spaces.
IEDs are far and away the greatest threat to our armed forces in Afghanistan, having killed nearly 700 soldiers since 2001 and accounting for roughly half of all US troop deaths in the region since 2008. The newly developed ASTAMIDS system aims to find these booby traps before our ground forces do.
The Navy is building a fleet of mine-hunting ships that investigators say aren't all that hot at finding mines. So in the coming years, those ships are going to get drone supplements to dive deep below the sea to spot the underwater weapons. Think of ‘em as pairs of robotic glasses.
The US Military invests billions of dollars in technology. But to keep the Strait of Hormuz — perhaps the most important stretch of water in the Middle East — open it's using an unusual, but no less innovative, technique: mine-detecting dolphins.
Everything is ready to rescue the Chilean miners trapped 2,296 feet underground in San José. This is the capsule that will take the diggers out. Or like one of them phrased it, "the sarcophagus that'll take the mummies out."
The trapped Chilean miners may face their most severe psychological challenges in a couple of months' time, if experience from space missions is anything to go by.
After 13 miners were trapped in a coal mine in Sago, West Virginia, four years ago, rescuers didn't know where to look for survivors — they could have been anywhere between 11,000 and 13,000 feet from the entrance. Radio waves can't penetrate very far through rock, so there was no way to communicate with the miners.
Motola, like so many who must share their lives with former war zones and forgotten minefields, lost a limb in 1999. Thankfully, she walked again today courtesy modern medicine and an artificial limb. The thing is, she's an elephant.
The Navy has figured out a strange way to neutralize deadly mines near the beach: using a satellite-guided bomb that releases thousands of poison darts. Each .50 caliber Venom dart is packing some seriously poisonous stuff called DETA, causing some of the mines to explode and then neutralizing the rest of them with…