Interesting Facts about The Big Hole on Earth

Do you have quest to learn some of the most amazing facts about the largest ever hole dug into the earth by hand with the labor force consisting of tens of thousands of individuals? If yes, you are at the right place as your thirst for such a precious piece of information is going to be quenched in this reliable research-based post. Coming back to the Big Hole, it is the largest hole excavated by hand that is located in South Africa a nation state found at the southernmost tip of the African continent. This unusually large excavation is actually an underground diamond mine, which is also known as the Open Mine or Kimberley Mine. Before we go ahead, exploring the facts further in depth, here it is worth mentioning that Mzansi (a colloquial name for South Africa) is richest in diamonds in the world. Measuring near about half a kilometer in width, the Kimberley Mine has a surface area of 42 acres. Now let's read wondrous Big Hole facts, which will not only add to your knowledge of world geography but also serve as a source of entertainment.

Interesting Facts about the Big Hole
  • Though it is said that the Big Hole in South Africa is the largest excavation in earth by hand, but this claim is not accepted by all and stands disputed.
  • The Republic of South Africa is the world's largest diamond producing country, where the discovery of diamond and gold mines in the later part of the 19th century brought mineral revolution.
  • The Kimberley Mine refers to the first ever discovery of diamond reserves in the country.
  • These were the members of the Red Cap Party who emerged with the discovery of diamonds at the present day Open Mine, and the place originally belonged to the De Beer brothers.
  • After the discovery of diamond reserves, different claimants of the site emerged on the scene which, in turn, led to the place being called "New Rush".
  • The digging, for the extraction of diamond, started in mid-July 1871 and continued till 1914 with the labor force of 50,000 individuals who made use of picks and shovels.
  • The width of the Big Hole is over 450 meters, while the surface area covered is about 17 hectares (42 acres).
  • After having been dug up to 240 meters, the hole was then partially filled with debris, thus reducing its depth to about 215 meters.
  • Owing to the accumulation of water in the bottom of the Open Mine, the depth has further decreased, leaving the visible hole not more than 175 meters.
  • Are you aware of the fact that a huge yield of 3,000 kilograms diamonds has been recovered from the Big Hole?
  • Presently, an effort is underway for getting the Big Hole registered as a World Heritage Site, which has fair chances of meeting with success in the near future.
  • It is painful to know that, as the digging was in progress, a large number of miners met their death due to various factors including, mining accidents, scarcity of water and fresh vegetables, as well as the sweltering heat of summers.
  • For obtaining the yield of three thousand kilogram diamond, about 22 million tons of earth had to be excavated at the site of Kimberley Mine.
  • When in 2005, the mining records were re-examined by a researcher, it was revealed that the hand-dug portions of the diamond mines of Jagersfontein and Bultfontein, also in South Africa, were deeper than the Open Mine in their excavated volume.
  • After the mining operations were finally over, the site of Big Hole became a great tourist attraction and it gained even more fame when, by the 1960s, relics of Kimberley's early days were gathered at the place.
  • Between the year 2002 and 2005, the De Beers Consolidated Mining Company made a huge investment of 50 million rand (unit South African currency) for the sake of developing the big hole into a world-class tourism facility, based on the prime motive of producing a lasting legacy for the people of Kimberley.
  • The new tourism attraction, called the Big Hole Kimberley, appears to be the theme of 'Diamonds and Destiny' where there has been witnessed a gradual increase in the number of visitors.
  • Do you know that there is a sign board, installed next to the hole, which reads, If all the diamonds recovered from the Kimberley Mine could be put together, they would have filled three cocopans or minecarts.
  • Before the discovery of diamond mines in South Africa marked the onset of mineral revolution and industrialization, the country's economy was largely dependent on trade and agriculture.