Earth Eating Monster
By Mark McConville
STUNNING pictures show the titanic bucket wheel excavator that could be the biggest abandoned vehicle in the world.
The images struggle to show the sheer size of this 370-foot-long, 190-foot-tall earth-eating machine.
The spectacular shots show how 20 mighty buckets that act as a saw, with each one able to dig 52 cubic feet of coal.
The snaps were taken in East Germany by IT system engineer and photographer Bas van der Poel (35) from Voorburg in The Netherlands.
“I want to show the world the beauties they have left behind to be forgotten,” he said.
“This is a wonderful piece of equipment that dug up millions of tons of coal. The machine is so big you cannot imagine.
“Most people are amazed by the size of this monster. When you stand underneath the bucket with your arms in the air you can barely touch it so just imagine how big the rest of the machine is.”
The enormous machine took 3500 tons of steel to build on site in the 1960s where it was used by a local brown coal mining company until 2003 when they dug up the last bucket of coal.
The machine was capable of mining more than 4500 tons of coal an hour and required 30 miners at any one time to operate it.
Bas wants to show the world places they have long forgotten and highlight their lasting beauty.
“I visit a lot of different abandoned places to photography the beauty of decay,” he said.
“With my images I show people the places they already forgot and to show them what happens when nature takes back what used to be hers.
“I love the adventure. To visit these places I have to travel a lot and travel to places people haven’t been for a long time.
“These places are really hard to reach and visiting them can be very dangerous. Together with the creativity of making the perfect shot, this is what makes it the perfect kind of photography for me.”
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