Serra Pelada (English: “Naked Mountain”) was a Brazilian gold mine, located 270 mi (430 kilometres) south of the mouth of the Amazon River. The mine became famous after Alfredo Jaar and later by Sebastião Salgado took pictures of it, shocking images that show an anthill of workers moving vast amounts of ore by hand.
The number of miners was difficult to estimate because the operation was chaotic, but it is believed that at least 100,000 people were present. This made the mine one of the largest in the world, with the highest concentration of manual labour since the pyramids of Egypt.
Today the mine is abandoned and it’s giant pit made by hand is filled with water and the result is a small polluted lake.
Back then there were discovered som huge nuggets of gold, the biggest weighing nearly 6.8 kilograms. At the 1980 market price they were worth $108,000, ($310,696 in 2016).
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In 2013 the movie Serra Pelada was released. The film features two friends who leave Rio de Janeiro in search of gold. You can watch the trailer below.
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