7 Largest Craters in the World

Craters are bowl-shaped indentations in the Earth’s crust. They can form due to explosions or volcanic activity, but the largest and most notable ones are usually formed when a meteorite comes crashing to the ground. Meteorites reach the Earth’s surface every day, but most of them are the size of a dust speck. Many others burn up entirely before reaching the ground and are known to us as “shooting stars” as they streak across the sky. The large meteorites that do reach the surface of the planet can have a tremendous impact. Here’s where to go for an up-close-and-personal view of these indentations that tell a tale from the distant past.

Morokweng in South Africa

Photo of Morokweng crater from the air
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Credit: Action Sports Photography/ Shutterstock

The Morokweng crater measures around 43 miles in diameter and is located in the Kalahari Desert in the northern part of South Africa. While the crater is obscured from view by the sands and debris of the desert, it was discovered in the mid-1990s because it caused unusual magnetic patterns. Scientists used isotopic dating to determine that the crater is about 145 million years old.

Manicouagan in Canada

Aerial photo of Manicouagan crater
Credit: Elena11/ Shutterstock

The Manicouagan crater is located in Quebec, Canada, and is the sixth-largest in the world. It measures 52 miles in diameter, which is big enough to make for some pretty impressive photographs when viewed from space. The shape that the crater makes when viewed in these aerial photos has given in the nickname the “eye of Quebec,” and the crater is now home to the Manicouagan Reservoir, which is the fifth-largest reservoir in the world and a source of hydroelectric power.

Acraman in Australia

Photo of Acraman crater and surrounding rocks
Credit: nordseegold/ depositphotos

The fifth-largest crater is the Acraman crater in South Australia. It measures 56 miles in diameter. This crater has a distinctive shape that makes it unusual. Instead of being an even bowl shape, the Acraman crater has different elevations throughout the site. Scientists date its likely occurrence at 600 million years ago, predating most of the lifeforms researchers have found in the fossil record. There is a dramatic change in the type of microscopic fossils found in the rock record that coincides with the Acraman crater’s meteoric impact, so some believe this event triggered significant changes to life.

Popigai in Russia

Photo of Popigai crater
Credit: Mojoystick/ Shutterstock

The Popigai crater in Russia is about the same size as the Acraman, measuring around 56 miles in diameter. This crater is located in the far north of Siberia and is believed to be about 35 million years old. In the 1970s, the crater was discovered to be the site of an extensive collection of diamonds. However, the information remained classified for nearly 30 years, and the remote location made it easy to keep the secret. Exploration has suggested there are several trillion carats worth of diamonds hidden within the crater, and to date, only a small fraction have been extracted.

Sudbury in Canada

Photo of Sudbury crater
Credit: NelzTabcharani316/ Shutterstock

The Sudbury crater measures a remarkable 81 miles in diameter, which makes it the third-largest in the world. Unlike many of the craters on this list, the Sudbury crater is easily visible in Ontario without trekking to uninhabited lands. In fact, the impact responsible for creating the crater also forced the creation of the nearby mountains. The crater, which is deformed and therefore somewhat of a geological mystery, has been the site of lucrative metal mining.

Chicxulub in Mexico

Photo of the Chicxulub crater
Credit: Antonio S F/ Shutterstock

The Chicxulub crater is the second-largest in the world and measures 93 miles in diameter. It is located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and is the result of a meteorite crash approximately 65 million years ago. This event lines up with the apparent extinction of many dinosaur species, and researchers believe that the Chicxulub crater may be the result of an extinction-causing event.

Vredefort in South Africa

Photo of the Vredefort dome in South Africa
Credit: Anke Nevermann/ Shutterstock

The most massive crater on earth is the Vredefort crater located in South Africa. It measures a mind-boggling 99 miles in diameter and is estimated to be 2 billion years old. The impact of the geological upset has left the soil in the center of the crater unsuitable for farming, so the land is covered with forests and hard mountains, protecting it from erosion. Visitors can walk through layers of geological history when they view the crater’s many layers of upturned earth.

Words, Words

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

“We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians, and opened wide our hearts to you.” 2 Corinthians 6:11

Every knowledgeable marriage counselor knows that the inability or unwillingness of husbands to reveal their feelings to their wives is one of the most common complaints of women.

Research shows that little girls are blessed with greater linguistic ability than little boys; it remains a lifelong talent. As an adult, she is typically far better at expressing her thoughts and feelings. God may have given her 50,000 words per day and her husband only 25,000. He comes home with 24,994 used up and disappears into Monday Night Football; she is dying to expend her remaining 25,000 words and find out what he’s thinking, what happened at the office, and, especially, how he feels about her. This difference between him and her—a function of their inherited temperaments—is one of countless ways they are unique.

When communication is a problem, compromise is in order. The clammed‐up husband must press himself to open his heart and share his deeper feelings. The frustrated wife must recognize that her man may not be capable of the emotional intimacy she seeks. They must seek to fix what can be improved—and to accept the rest.

Just between us…

  • Is it true in our case that the wife has twice as many words to use up each day as the husband?
  • Have our communicative differences created problems between us? • In terms of sharing feelings, how would you like our marriage to change?
  • What hinders good communication between us? How can we change?

Lord, help us to celebrate our differences as man and woman while tenderly and joyfully helping each other make the most of our union with every word. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Father of All Fathers

NIGHT LIGHT FOR PARENTS

“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

You don’t need a license or a diploma to become a father, yet the job description is one of the toughest imaginable. According to Scripture, a father encourages and comforts his children, urging them to “live lives worthy of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:11–12). He is charged with the instruction (Proverbs 1:8–9) and discipline (Hebrews 12:10) of his offspring. He is expected to provide “good gifts” for his children (Matthew 7:9–11). Harder still, a father must not “exasperate” his children as he does these things. Instead—and most important of all—he is to “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

In the face of these enormous responsibilities, you may feel like a high school dropout interviewing for a job as a nuclear physicist—you know that your résumé doesn’t measure up! But don’t be discouraged. Scripture tells us that our heavenly Father will assist us in each of life’s heavy responsibilities: “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs” (Isaiah 58:11). You can depend on almighty God, the Father of all fathers, for strength in every parenting challenge—no matter what your qualifications might be.

Before you say good night…

What are your strengths as a father?

What areas of fatherhood do you most need to work on?

Are you depending on God for answers to challenges with your kids?

How can you do better in trusting the Lord as a dad?

(father) Dear Lord, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the mighty responsibilities of fatherhood. Help me to come before You daily, humbly asking for Your wisdom as I seek the best for my children. Amen.

From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved