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    These Massive Balls Were Used To Mine Gold In 19th-Century Virginia


    While history is chock-full of interesting tidbits of knowledge on famous historical figures, landmarks and locations, buildings, and significant events, it recalls some stranger things as well. Strange not only because of their execution, but because some facts were lost to the ages and remain a mystery to this day.


    One such mystery is the Hornet Balls—gigantic spherical boulders that were found in one of the mines in Virginia. And people don’t really know what to make of them.


    History’s full of weird things, including the ‘Hornet Balls’ that are on display in a Virginian museum



    As you might have guessed, the US has a rich mining history. Throughout the 19th century, there was gold rush after gold rush in the country. Mining colonies rose and thrived in random locations that today are abandoned, mere husks of what once was.


    So, in 1998, the Monroe Park and the Gold Mining Camp Museum opened its doors in Goldvein, Virginia to show off the state’s impressive gold mining history. The park itself is not a mining site, but over 18 abandoned mines can be found in the county.


    The Gold Mining Camp Museum found these a while back in a mine around a mile away from its premises



    What it does do, however, is try to mimic a mining camp from the early 1900s by having an authentic bunkhouse, a mess hall, and an assay office following the Virginian mine aesthetic of the times.


    One of its exhibits, namely a pair of mining artifacts, have been drawing the internet’s fancy recently—massive Hornet Balls that were salvaged from the Liberty Mine ruins that are around a mile away from the park.


    Specifically, these are gigantic hollow spheres that are built from reinforced concrete pasted on an iron mesh frame. They measure at 7 feet tall, about a foot and a half more than your average Joe, and over 20 feet in circumference. Each ball weighs in at around 7 tons.


    While the name and their purpose are a mystery, it is believed they were used to separate gold from rock



    Now, what they were used for is a bit of a mystery. Since they were found and retrieved from an abandoned mine, it is believed that they were certainly some sort of mine implements. It is speculated that they were used as ore crushers to break off gold from the rock.


    As for the name, historians speculate they’re called that because of the resemblance to a hornet nest or because they make a buzzing sound when in use



    Now, mining has come a long way since then. Today, we use heavy machinery for the most part when it comes to mining and don’t rely on strangely named implements. But it is surely a bizarre bit of mining history that shouldn’t be forgotten, if not for the historical value, then at least for the name.


    Needless to say, some internauts found this discovery rather funny because of the name alone



    Image credits: Sydney Rose

    內容來自 聽力課堂網:http://www.putheti.com/show-138-482984-1.html

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