The city of Mirny has just one attraction – an incredible hole in the ground, which can be seen from space. Possibly the most famous hole in Russia, this moderately sized pit freaked some Reddit users out, leading to thousands of bewildered comments, such as: “Love the airport that just ends at the mine. Overshoot your runway a bit? Yeah, that’s the end of your vacation.”
On the edge of the mind-boggling quarry there indeed sits a city – Mirny. It’s situated in the biggest and most barren region of the country – Yakutia (or Sakha Republic, as you may also know it), a huge landmass that occupies a fifth of the country’s territory, but is inhabited by less than a million people.
The city of Mirny itself has 35,000 inhabitants and they’re there mainly for one reason: diamonds. In fact, they’re why the city was built in the first place.
The ‘Mir’ (Peace) quarry boasts one of the richest diamond deposits in the world. At 525 meters in depth and 1,2 kilometers in diameter, this man-made void is truly mind-blowing.
50 years of digging
They say that a fox helped people discover diamonds there. It dug up a hole under a tree whose roots were sticking out as a result of a landslide. In June 1955, geologists looking for kimberlite (a type of diamond) noticed the strange shade of the earth dug up by the fox. Testing revealed that kimberlite was indeed present.
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