View Larger Map
Yucca Flat was the site of 739 nuclear tests between 1951 and 1992. Once an anonymous stretch of desert, it's now pockmarked with subsidence craters left behind by underground nuclear detonations. Among them is the Sedan Crater, a massive, 1200-feet-wide, 320-feet-deep pit, created as part of "plowshare" experiments—tests meant to demonstrate whether nuclear bombs could be used for peaceful purposes, like excavating new lakes or deep bays.(Via Sean Carroll)
Maggie Koerth-Baker is the science editor at BoingBoing.net. She writes a monthly column for The New York Times Magazine and is the author of Before the Lights Go Out, a book about electricity, infrastructure, and the future of energy. You can find Maggie on Twitter and Facebook.