Some things that look awful up close can look kind of beautiful from space. Like this enormous open-pit copper mine in northern Chile.
The La Escondida Mine, an open-pit mine in northern Chile, produces the most copper of any mine in the world — some 360 million metric tons per year. Its impact on the Atacama Desert environment can be seen by comparing the 1975 image, taken before mining began, with the 2008 picture. The blue and white areas in the center of the 2008 image are the mine’s infrastructure and pits. The darker blue object at the lower left is a waste reservoir.
Here’s the mine picture juxtaposed with the same landscape seen in 1975:
Mining growth, Chile, NASA.