World’s deepest hole dubbed ‘well to hell’

World’s deepest hole dubbed ‘well to hell’

Earth’s deepest artificial hole stretches more than 12,000 metres below the surface — but it’s only covered by a rusty metal lid.

Russia’s Kola Superdeep Borehole was created by the Soviets in the name of science so they could learn more about what’s really under our feet and dig to depths unknown.

The project to drill into the Earth’s surface began near Murmansk in the 1970s when Soviet scientists wanted to learn more about the Earth’s crust.

Over two decades, they managed dig more than 12km down into the Earth.

However, in 1992 they had to stop drilling because the temperature was around 180 degrees Celsius, which was far hotter than the scientists predicted it would be.

Experts still need to figure out a way to overcome this temperature issue if they want to keep drilling and not destroy all of their equipment in the process.

All this drilling wasn’t for nothing, though, as some scientific discoveries were made.

The researchers found out there was water at 12 kilometres into Earth’s crust despite this previously being thought to be impossible.

They also found 24 new types of long dead single-celled organisms and gained access to rocks that were 2.7 billion years old.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole is 23 centimetres in diameter and its metal lid is welded on so it is unlikely that anyone would ever fall down it.

Locals in the area say the hole is so deep you can hear the screams of people being tortured in hell, hence its nickname “the well to hell”.

If you fell down the hole, it would take around 3.5 to four minutes to reach the bottom.

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.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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