I remember when I was a kid at the beach, i loved using shovels to make sandcastles and moats. I don’t know how it started, but my friends and I would always say “Let’s dig to CHINA!” As if by going straight down we would end up in a cafe in Beijing or something. If we had just looked at a globe, we would have seen that the opposite end of the Earth is in the middle of the Ocean…
There is something fun about digging, though. Dogs do it, kids do it, even adults do it. Do you want to know what the deepest hole was?
In 1989 near the northwestern tip of Russia’s border with Norway, scientists in the Soviet Union finished drilling the deepest hole ever. They called it the Kola Superdeep Borehole.
They made a few practice holes over a 18 year period, then drilled down as far as they could. Their drills kept breaking because of the heat and the depth! No one had done this before! They had to keep inventing better drills to get farther and deeper.
Eventually they reached 40,230 feet down. That’s more than 7 miles! That’s farther from the surface than flying in a 737 jumbo jet.
They found some crazy rocks, microscopic fossils 3 miles down, and superhot gasses. They also learned a lot about how the Earth’s crust sits on the mantle of magma. Unfortunately they ran out of money to drill, and then a year later the Soviet Union collapsed. Imagine being 10 years old again and getting to see that. It would have been so exciting!