Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cold War bore hole

While the United States arguably won the Space Race by putting a man on the moon in 1969, the Soviets won the converse quest to drill as far as possible underground in an attempt to reach the center of the Earth. The Kola Superdeep Borehole on the Kola Peninsula in far western Russia is only 9" (23 cm) in diameter, but extends 7.5 miles (12 km) into the earth – a third of the way through the continental crust. The world's deepest hole is now covered by a welded metal cáp (IMAGE ABOVE). Bryan Nelson writes on Mother Earth Network, "Though the hole's depth is impressive, it's a small fraction of the distance to the center of the Earth, which is estimated to be nearly 4,000 miles deep. By comparison, the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which has reached the outer layers of our solar system, has relayed information from over 10 billion miles away. The human race truly understands less about the ground beneath its very feet than it does about the cosmos that abound. It's humbling to realize just how much mystery still exists right here on our little blue world."

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