A group of former miners' exhaustive knowledge of the Homestake Gold Mine will aid the search for cosmic particles like dark matter and neutrinos.
Homestake, with 370 miles of tunnels that plunge up to 8,000 feet underground, was once the largest and deepest gold mine in the western hemisphere. During its 126-year operation in Lead, South Dakota, a tiny Black Hills mountain town, the mine provided thousands with jobs and produced around $3.5 billion worth of gold. But in the late 1990s, gold prices dropped dramatically, and the mine started losing money -- tens of millions of dollars a year. The mine was closed in 2003, by which time most of its employees had been laid off.
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.
A new system developed by Lockheed Martin aims to change that, by using magnetic waves to carry voice and text messages.
In a dangerous legacy of the world's deadliest conflict, 150,000 World War Two-era sea mines litter the Baltic Sea. The danger these bombs pose to a proposed gas pipeline has prompted Russia to hire the British firm Bactec International to clear the sea of unexploded ordnance. And for Bactec, that means it's time to bring out the robots.
From a tactical military standpoint, land mines have a certain set-it-and-forget-it appeal; you blanket an area in munitions and move on, secure in the fact that if the enemy tries to cross that terrain they'll find an automated resistance waiting for them. But we all know that land mines are also one of modern warfare's most indiscriminate and devastating developments, with the capacity to kill and maim innocent people even decades after hostilities have ceased.
Silver miners first discovered Mexico's surreal Cave of Crystals almost a decade ago. The BBC recently took a rare tour of the underground cavern that contains the world's largest naturally grown crystals, where some selenite structures reach almost 33 feet in length.
See those little dots climbing the crystals that look like ants? Those are people.
Californian sea lions have become U.S. Navy recruits alongside dolphins and human divers, as seen in this amazing picture. The Daily Telegraph reports that this particular fellow put on a display for officials at the NATO Underwater Research Center in La Spezia Bay, Italy.
Scientists at Case Western Reserve University, Brown University, and several other collaborators are building an underground science lab where, in a 300-kilogram tank filled with liquid xenon, they hope to find dark matter -- the material that scientists believe was instrumental in helping to form the universe.