Can The Mirny Diamond Mine Really Take Down A Plane?

It's terrifying to consider how much we don't know about Earth. The Scripps Institution of Oceanography reports that, while humanity has a thorough knowledge of all but the remotest regions on land, the oceans remain almost as mysterious as ever. Just as an example, there's an area of the Pacific Ocean the size of Oklahoma which is uncharted.

As long as science remains humble and frank about the things it does not understand, though, we have an intriguing array of mysteries to ponder. One prominent example is the Bermuda Triangle. While the National Ocean Service reminds us that there's no evidence that this busy body of water in the North Atlantic has caused more accidents and disappearances than any other, theories about it continue.

Though the Mirny diamond mine isn't so infamous, this vast hole in the Earth has some frightening tales attributed to it as well. Is it really able to suck planes into its seemingly limitless depths? Here's the answer.

Mirny, per All That's Interesting, is a remote town in Siberia. It's so remote that it has very few permanent residents, and is notable mostly for the vast swaths of trees that blanket the region. It does have a fascinating and frightening claim to fame, though: its diamond mine. Construction began on this mine in 1957 when the Soviet Union found evidence that the precious stones waited below the ground here.

The icy Siberian air meets the warmer air of the mine

The project was completed in 1960 and, by the time it closed in 2004, All That's Interesting goes on, quantities of diamonds worth a total of $13 billion had been excavated there. It's only right that the venture proved lucrative, too, as it was a painstaking process to build in such an inhospitable place.

The mine, per Unknown World, is 3,900 feet in diameter and around 1,200 meters deep, among the biggest mines of its kind on the planet. So large is this gaping chasm in eastern Russia that it really can be perilous to aircraft. According to When On Earth, its sheer size can have a devastating impact on the flow of air around it and its temperature. Reportedly, helicopters have been caused to dramatically lose altitude and crash into the mine by this effect, which had led to flights in its airspace being banned.

All That's Interesting explains that the air within the mine is warmer than the bitter air outside it, resulting in a deadly vortex. The impact of this would depend on the size of the aircraft, but there have reportedly been several incidents. Research within the mine continues, and in 2010, Russian company AB Elise discussed ambitious plans to create a solar-powered city within the chasm.