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Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface

Going deep.
Going deep.
Image: Reuters/Ilya Naymushin
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Humans have always dug into the earth for new resources. But while millennia-old techniques like crystalizing salt in evaporating pools still exist all over the world, cavernous open pit mines like Chile’s Escondida copper mine (nearly four kilometers wide) are far more representative of what modern resource extraction looks like. Below, images taken from airplanes, satellites and even astronauts on the International Space Station reveal how insatiable mining has irreversibly altered the face of the earth.

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Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface
Image for article titled Aerial and satellite photos reveal massive mines scarring the earth’s surface