25 Biggest Man Made Environmental Disasters In History

Our environment has been the victim of all sorts of attacks.  Some of these attacks are natural such as hurricanes and earthquakes.  However, there are attacks that are unnatural and man made such as wars, explosions, chemical spills, etc.  These attacks usually carry with them heavy price tags as property and lives are damaged beyond full compensation and repair. To see these effects first hand (or as close to first hand as possible) we present to you our 25 biggest environmental disasters in history list for your personal edification.

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The Three Mile Island Nuclear Explosion


The three mile island accident was a partial nuclear meltdown which occurred in one of the two United States nuclear reactors on March 28, 1979 .  Located on the three mile island in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania;  it was the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history with the partial meltdown resulting in the release of small amounts of radioactive gases and radioactive iodine into the environment.


The Kuwait Oil Fires


Around 6 million barrels of oil were lost from January to November, 1991. 600 oil wells were set afire as part of the scorched earth policy by the retreating Iraqi military forces. $1.5 billion was spent by Kuwait to extinguish the fires that caused heavy pollution to the soil and air.


“Door to Hell”


In Derweze, Turkmenistan, a drilling rig made by Soviet geologists in 1971 gave way to a large hole measuring 70 meters in diameter, exposing a large methane gas reservoir. Fearing the environmental impact due to the substantial methane gas release; the geologists decided to burn it off.  Unfortunately, the gas is still burning today.


The Palomares Incident


The crash of the B-52G bomber of the USAF Strategic Air Command on January 17, 1966 led to the plutonium contamination of Palomares, a small village in the municipality of Cuevas del Almanzora, Almería, Spain. The jet powered strategic bomber carried non nuclear explosives that detonated causing political conflict between the US and Spain. 40 years later, traces of the blasts are still evident.


Sidoarjo Mud Flow


Sidoarjo (the largest mud volcano in the world) also known as the Lapindo mud, exists today because of gas blowout wells drilled by PT Lapindo Branta.  Branta denies this however and claims that the mud flows were created by an earthquake. 180,000 m³ of mud per day is spewed at its peak and has been in eruption since May, 2006.

SEE ALSO: 15 Science Projects Better Than Making Slime (Your Kids Will Agree!) »

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