Source: YouTube, Movies like Journey to the Center of the Earth and the core imagine what it would be like to burrow deep into the surface of the planet but for Soviet scientists working in the 1970s. This idea became a reality but exactly how deep is this hole and what did the scientists learn as they dug steadily closer to the Earth’s core today we’re looking at the deepest hole in the world.
To understand just how incredible this project was first we need to understand the difficulty involved in drilling into the Earth’s mantle the mantle makes up 40% or more of the planet which has a radius of 4,000 miles the 1,800 mile thick mantle sits or more accurately heaves up and down just below the Earth’s crust and above the Earth’s core the crust is just a tiny portion of the planet averaging 3 to 25 miles thick the mantle.
Is the major engine driving the planets constant evolution and contains a geological record of much of the Earth’s, history scientists took their first crack at the mantle in 1958 with project Mohall American engineers, drilled through the Pacific ocean floor of Guadeloupe Mexico but Congress discontinued funding in 1966 before the drillers even reached the mantle the quest to drill deeper created a global scientific contest akin to the space race in 1970 Soviet geologists took on the challenge setting their drills of the Kola Peninsula which juts eastward out of the Scandinavian landmass the Kola super-deep borehole was just 9 inches in diameter but at 40,000 230 feet rains as the deepest hole it took almost 20 years to reach that 7.5 mile depth.
The Deepest hole in the world Only half the distance were less to the mantle among the more interesting discoveries microscopic plankton fossils found at four miles down the Kola Hall was abandoned in 1992 when drillers encountered higher than expected temperatures 356 degrees Fahrenheit not the 212 degrees, that have been mapped the heat wrecks havoc on equipment and the higher the heat the more liquid the environment and the harder to maintain the bore it’s like trying to keep a pit in the center of a pot of hot soup to cut miles into the ground.
The engineers had to invent a whole new drill in the past drillers quickly spun the entire drill stem so that the bit at the bottom could chew the bedrock before starting the it’s calculated that the tubing would weigh over a million pounds they could never generate enough torque to rotate that much pipe fast enough to drill through kilometres of granite so in 1969 the Soviets invented a rotary bit it’s spun by sending pressurized mud down the pipe where it blew through a turbine at the drill head spinning it at 80 revolutions per minute.
It worked and the system is now used on oil wells experts still need to figure out a way to overcome this temperature issue if they want to keep drilling and not destroy all their equipment in the process but the project was not a complete failure because numerous scientific discoveries were born from the endeavor the researchers found that there is water 12 kilometers deep in Earth’s crust despite this previously being thought to be impossible scientists discovered that there is no basalt under the continents granite this was a huge surprise seismic predictions suggested that at 9,000 metres the granite would give way to basalt it doesn’t the seismic anomaly suggested that basalt was caused by metamorphosed granite instead this gave support for plate tectonics which was a new theory.
When the Kola super-deep borehole was being drilled they also learned that there are fossils in granite 67,000 meters below the surface they also found 24 new types of long-dead single-celled organisms and gained access to rocks there were 2.7 billion years old humanity continues to benefit from these discoveries if we have a better knowledge of what the mantle is and how the mantle behaves we have better knowledge of volcanoes and earthquakes and better knowledge of how the planet as a whole works said.
Benjamin Andrews a research geologist in an interview with the Smithsonian magazine and an artist named La Teague even was curious about what it sounded like in the world’s deepest hole in her project the sound of the earth the netherlands-based artist actually found out given partnered with geologists and engineers to record the sounds of the Kohler borehole the first time given listened to the sound with proper headphones she recalls feeling overwhelmed by what she heard all the hair on my arms stood up straight and if I hear it now again after many times it still has the same effect on me she says the sound was like rumbling thunder or the oncoming roar of a tornado ripping through the sky I later learned that blind people can hear thunderstorms
Because the low frequency can be sensed in the body G at perhaps this is what was going on the Kola super-deep borehole is 20 three centimeters in diameter and it’s metal lid is welded on so it is unlikely that anyone would ever fall down it locals in the area say that the hole is so deep you can hear the screams of people being tortured in health hence its nickname being the well to help if you fell down the hole it would take around 3.5 to 4 minutes to reach the bottom however what’s even more impressive is that scientists estimate that the distance to the centre of the earth is nearly four thousand miles turns out 7.5 miles barely scratches the surface lots of countries wanted to be the first to drill into the Earth’s mantle.
During the Cold War and today Japan is attempting to set this record japan’s flagship ocean drilling research vessel Tikku has drilled deeper into the ocean floor than ever before but it failed to achieve its ultimate goal of penetrating 5,200 meters beneath the seafloor into the realm where two tectonic plates meet and cause enormous earthquakes engineers gave up on that long sought target in 2019 after the drill hole kept collapsing just over 3,000 250 meters beneath the seafloor.
Though to oil wells have since earned the distinction of the world’s longest borehole Kola still remains the deepest borehole in the world almost 30 years after its completion though scientists learned new information from the digging process they also discovered that the Earth’s mantle is a mysterious and impermeable feature of our planet deepest hole in the world.
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