Megalophobia, or the fear of large things, is something every human experiences at some point in their life, especially if they considered the vastness of the universe and how small our own planet is. It is a reminder of how insignificant we are, and that can certainly be an unsettling feeling. But, if you are ready to face that fear, here are some massive objects that will probably trigger your “megalophobia.”
1. The mysterious hurricane on Saturn’s north pole which spans twice the width of the Earth.
When the Cassini spacecraft sent the images of Saturn’s north pole, scientists at NASA were astonished to find what seemed to be an impossible hurricane on a planet that is just made of gas. The false-color images were taken on November 27, 2012, three decades after the much less-detailed images sent by Voyager 2.
The eye of the hurricane spans a staggering 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles), almost 50 times the size of an average hurricane on Earth. The cloud speeds were 330 miles per hour (150 meters per second), four times faster than storms on Earth.
It is centered on the planet’s mysterious, six-sided, weather pattern known as “the hexagon.” On Earth, the hurricanes tend to move north because of our planet’s spin, and scientists believe the same thing happened on Saturn where it seems to have be stuck to the pole. (1, 2)
2. A comparison of Rosetta’s comet with Los Angeles.
On March 2, 2004, the European Space Agency launched the space probe Rosetta accompanied by the comet-lander module Philae. Its destination, the first of its kind, was the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko discovered in 1969. The probe reached the comet on August 6, 2014, and maneuvered itself to orbit it at a distance of 30 to 10 kilometers (19 to 6 miles).
The comet 67P has the shape of two lobes connected via a neck and is approximately 4.3 kilometers (2.7 miles) long and 4.1 kilometers (2.5 miles) wide. Its size in comparison with the city of Los Angeles can be seen in the above image made by Matt Wang.
The comet was originally from the Kuiper Belt, but like many other comets, it was ejected into the Solar System where Jupiter’s gravitational force changed its orbit. The perihelion, or the closest distance from the Sun in its orbit, is 193 million kilometers. (source)
3. A Typhoon-class submarine passing by a beach in Russia.
Back in the 1970s and 80s, Russia began Project 941 to match the Ohio-class submarines of America. Russia, however, did more than that. At 175 meters in length and 23 meters width, the Typhoon-class are far larger and heavier than any submarine built in the world.
They can displace 48,000 tons of water when submerged. Needless to say, unlike most submarines, they also have the most comfortable living quarters for the crew when they are submerged for months on end.
There have been six submarines of the Typhoon-class. During the 90s, there were unsuccessful proposals to convert the submarines to carry cargo to the far-flung, northern territories of the country.
As of 2013, three of the submarines have been withdrawn from active service and scrapped, and two were decommissioned with plans to be scrapped. Only one, the TK-208 or Dmitriy Donskoy, is in active service. (source)
4. Gordon Dam in Tasmania, Australia.
Gordon Dam was constructed in 1974 by Hydro Tasmania across the River Gordon for generating hydroelectricity. The resulting reservoir is known as Lake Gordon. The curved dam wall is 198 meters long and 140 meters high, making it the fifth tallest dam in Australia.
The water descends 183 meters into the underground power station to turn three turbines generating up to 432 megawatts of power. Though it’s not the tallest or the biggest of dams, it does offer a dizzying view from the stairs leading to the walkway atop the wall. (source)
5. This extraordinarily large diamond mine next to a town in Russia.
The Mir mine, also known as Mirny mine, was first started in 1957 after kimberlite was found there two years before. The mine is 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) in diameter and 525 meters (1,722 feet) deep.
Despite the harsh climate, permafrost, and the slush that the ground turns into during brief summers, the mine was hugely successful. During the 60s, it produced over 10 million carats of diamonds per year giving De Bears a run for its money.
On December 23, 1980, Mir mine found its largest diamond weighing 342.5 carats (68.50 grams). It was strangely named “26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.” After being discontinued in 2001, mining resumed in 2009, and the diamonds are being mined underground now instead of in the open pit. (source)