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Artificial and Natural Alterations to the Earth

The earth’s water and land surfaces have changed over time, some by natural means and some by the exact opposite.

Some distinctive formations are conversation striking structures, and whether they are geologically produced by Mother Nature or synthetically constructed by man, the source that can cause such a physical presence can be just as astounding.

Covered in ice during cold months, the Ekati Mine in Canada operates even under completely frozen road conditions. The mine is a diamond bonanza, and so far it has birthed 40 million or so carats of them. Though mines can be major sources of income, when they are as dangerous as many are and as risky looking as this one we need to ask what price are we willing to pay for that pretty piece of jewelry.

How’s this for a morning commute?

Artificial and Natural Alterations to the Earth

Image source: by whutch1 on Weather Underground

Definitely making the list as one of the craziest human caused disasters is commonly referred to as the Burning Gates or the Gates of Hell. The Darvaza Gas Crater in Turkmenistan’s Karakum desert has been reaping its effects for over 40 years and it’s no wonder why it has earned the nicknames.

Artificial and Natural Alterations to the Earth

Image source: by John Bradley from WebEcoist

The crater was created in 1971 when Soviet mining equipment, a drilling rig, somehow inadvertently fell down into a deeply underground cave. After the crash, toxic fumes could be smelled and the idea was conceived to set the massive hole on fire. Obviously, this was not a great solution as the fire is amazingly still burning, and supposedly an overwhelmingly strong aroma of sulfur can be detected near the pit.

This manmade head scratcher really makes you wonder just how much the planet can actually take.

Fortunately, not all marks to the earth have been artificially produced. One astonishing made by nature formation is the Blue Hole near Belize’s Barrier Reef which is no doubt a magical place for divers and lucky aerial viewers.

The giant blue disc in the ocean was naturally created, though it is not really known how. It is approximately a quarter of a mile wide and around 475 feet deep.

Take a water tour, courtesy of MSNBC:

Human imposed modifications have assuredly made an impact in the negative direction, and natural wonders propose the question as to why we would want to alter things in such irreversible ways in the first place.

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