We know about Russia and America’s popular space race in the 1950’s. However, did you know that the two countries also raced to the Earth’s center? In 1960’s and 1970’s, both Russia and America aimed to create the world’s deepest hole.
Using powerful equipment, both countries drilled boreholes into the ground. The work required massive funding and was potentially risky to the workers involved. Soon after, the United States of America’s Project Mohole was halted due to lack of funding.
Russia, on the other hand, decided to dig a hole in the Kola Peninsula. In the end, the Kola Superdeep Borehole measured 12.3 kilometers deep into the ground. If you’re finding that it difficult to grasp such depth, then remember this simple tip. Mt. Everest, which is considered the tallest mountain in the world, stands at only 8.9 kilometers high.
Initially, the project’s plan was to make it to a depth of 49,000 feet or about 15 kilometers. By 1989, one of the hole’s branches, SG-3, reached an astounding depth of 40,230 feet, or about 12.3 kilometers deep.
They never made it past their goal because the temperature was so extreme that the equipment couldn’t handle it any longer. The temperate reached close to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, which made it impossible for the drilling to go any further.
Proud of this amazing achievement, the Russian government even printed stamps that showed the world’s deepest hole. The project was put on a halt, but it wasn’t until 2008 that the entire site was dismantled beyond repair.
Today, the marvelous structure that once inspired two superpowers to race against each other is now nothing but a pile of rubble. Although the structure has been dismantled, visitors cans still take a tour around the ghostly site.
What remained of the rig is a steep cap that serves as a covering of the world’s deepest hole. Who would have thought that in the past, this exact site actually fueled the passion of an entire nation? If you ever get the chance to visit the Kola Peninsula, take a look at this historical site.