What’s the deepest we’ve ever dug into the Earth? (Thinkstock)
What’s the deepest we’ve ever dug into the Earth?
Lexile

You asked us, "What's the deepest we've ever dug into the Earth?"
 
The deepest hole we've ever carved out is just 9 inches across.
 
It was started by scientists in 1970 and it took more than two decades to dig the record-holding hole.
 
So, how low did we go?
 
Drum roll, please. A whopping 0.2% of the distance to the center of the planet.
 
That's right, folks. The 7.5-mile-deep Kola Borehole in Russia barely managed to scratch the Earth's surface, never making it past the outermost layer of our planet.
 
Super high temperatures stopped the Russian scientists from going any farther. But, along the way they found some pretty cool things, like free water deeper than they ever thought it could possibly exist.
 
And 2-billion-year-old fossils from single-celled marine plants 4 miles below the Earth's surface.
 
Over two decades later, an international team of scientists is hoping to go deeper.
 
Despite a hefty $1 billion price tag and monumental engineering roadblocks, the goal is to go where no one has gone before. The mantle.
 
Some of our biggest questions about the origins and evolution of Earth could get answers. SO WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?!!
 
Oh, yeah, that's right - a billion dollars and better technology. Get on that science!

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did it take more than 20 years to dig the deepest hole?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (270)
  • summerc-1-bar
    12/16/2015 - 07:16 p.m.

    It took more than 20 years to dig the deepest hole because, as paragraph 7 states, "Super high temperatures stopped the Russian scientists from going any farther." Scientists want to be able to go farther, or at least to the bottom of the mantle.
    I think it took scientists 20 years to dig the hole because if they were to just dig unprepared then who knows what would happen to them!

  • kieranw-3-bar
    12/16/2015 - 07:50 p.m.

    It took 20 years to dig the deepest hole because the combination of lack of needed technology and the heat coming from the core makes it extremely difficult to dig fairly deep at all. This has been a wonder of mine for a long time but I am glad that I finally know the truth. 0.2% deep of our planet is pretty shocking, I would assume that we would be able to go a lot deeper. But little does it sound, 0.2% is pretty deep, hopefully soon our technology will be adapted and can help us get to our goal of the mantle.

  • John0724-YYCA
    12/16/2015 - 09:27 p.m.

    I really don't know if its deep but all I know is that they never made it to the mantle but they dug some part of the crust because that is what my teacher told me. I think the reason the ground got hot is because of them getting to close to the mantle because the mantle has lava which heats up the crust. But the actual surprise is that the scientists found free water as they dug which is insane.

  • melissaj-Ste
    12/16/2015 - 10:26 p.m.

    Isn't fracking considered a type of hole into the earth? It might not be the deepest hole drilled into the ground, but it happens often. It is a controversial topic in the environment. As for expanding to the mantle of the Earth, I'm not sure how that will go. It only took more than 20 years to dig the deepest hole because technology was never strong enough 20 years ago to do so.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    12/16/2015 - 11:46 p.m.

    I think that it it impossible for people to dig the deepest hole because when it comes to be digging the deepest whole in the world, it is impossible to dig the deepest hole in the world. I think that it is really impossible to dig the deepest hole because the more people are digging through the crust, the more it gets hotter when people dig deeper into the mantle. The deepest hole to make for the world's deepest hole that people have ever made which no other people had ever made. I think that when it comes to very high temperature, people can't dig anymore because of the very hot temperature.

  • carlosp-6-bar
    12/17/2015 - 01:15 a.m.

    It took more than 20 years to dig the deepest whole ever dug in human history because they would have need to plan everything out and make all the materials and then finding people to help them actually do it. They also needed money for it because it would have been really expensive.
    I think this is a good article because I didn't know that the whole was only that deep and that wide and I was really surprised how small it was. But i think that the critical thinking question was really bad because they didn't say anything about WHY it took so long it just said it took that long.

  • meaganw.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:22 a.m.

    I wonder what it would feel like to go in that tunnel where they dug.

  • jeysong-612-
    12/17/2015 - 09:35 a.m.

    I think it took more than 20 years to dig the deepest hole because 1. scientists barely worked on it every day and 2. they worked slowly and carefully to keep the hole from caving in.

  • evakathrynj.1-tay
    12/17/2015 - 09:44 a.m.

    It is crazy to think that it took two decades to dig a hole that was only 9 inches deep!

    • leonac.-tay
      12/17/2015 - 11:40 a.m.

      That was how wide not deep

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