Bucket wheel excavator operating in a mine called Garzweiler in Germany. It's rather big, you can fit a van into each scoop. Here are pictures to save you googling. Some are small and nasty, but they should quench your thirst.

More about the mine - it's a large open cast lignite mine, and the lignite extracted provides much of Germany's power.

Over the years, the mining activities have scarred the land and created massive man-made canyons, reaching a depth of up to 500 metres and over 10 Km wide. While at one end the lignite is being extracted, the other end is being filled up with slag (ashes from the burning process of coal). In this manner the opencast mine is expected to wander through the countryside until about 2050, by which time the lignite deposits would have been exhausted. The mining activities have destroyed over 50 villages, some of which go back to the Roman period.

Apparently some people aren’t too keen on this. Damn hippies.

If anyone has any more information (or thinks any of the above is wrong), please email me!

Update: The mine is divided into two parts, Garzweiler 1 and Garzweiler 2 (the latter isn't yet open). The biggest machine operating in the mine, number 288, is 96 meters high and 240 meters long. It can shift 240,000 tons a day!

Thanks to Sven for the extra info.

Also: Type 'Garzweiler' into google earth to see them.

Note: none of these pictures are mine. If you see your picture here and would like it removed, please email me.

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