Inside the race to Earth’s core with China & Japan drilling 30,000ft down after Russia SEALED deepest ever man-made hole

Inside the race to Earth’s core with China & Japan drilling 30,000ft down after Russia SEALED deepest ever man-made hole

A WORLDWIDE race to reach the centre of the Earth has seen China, Japan and Germany make efforts to drill 30,000ft into the planet’s core – after a Russian Cold War effort was ditched.

Russia’s Kola Superdeep Borehole still holds the record for deepest ever man-made hole at 40,000 feet below ground, but was sealed by the Soviets in 1992.

GettyChina wants to drill 30,000 feet down the Earth’s crust using its first deep sea drill vessel Mengxiang (pictured)[/caption]

By Andre Belozeroff via Wikimedia CommonsRussia’s Kola Superdeep Borehole is still the world’s deepest man-made hole, that stretches more than 40,000 into the earth[/caption]

It 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 hole stretches 40,230 feet below the surface – but it’s only covered by a rusty metal lid.

It was nicknamed “well to hell” as the hole was so deep, one could hear the screams of those being tortured in the underworld.

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 to dig more than 7.5 miles down into the Earth.

But 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.

China is now getting slightly closer to the Russian record as it will attempt to drill more than 30,000 feet into the Earth with its first ocean drilling vessel, the Mengxiang.

If successful, this will mark humanity’s first venture into the upper mantle, bringing fresh insights and perhaps breaking new ground in Earth scientific study, South China Morning Post reported.

Japan has previously announced its plans to drill through the earth’s crust and reach the mantle.

In 2017, Japan’s Chikyu deep sea drilling vessel attempted to pass through 2.5 miles of water and 3.7 miles of crust to reach the mantle, which accounts for approximately 85 per cent of the Earth’s volume.

Two years later, Chikyu managed to drill two miles (10.560ft) under the sea floor, still far from its planned attempt.

Other countries have also conducted deep drilling projects for scientific research and exploration purposes.

Germany also conducted deep drilling projects, such as the German Continental Deep Drilling Program (KTB), which started in the 1980s and aimed to investigate the Earth’s crust.

The KTB project reached a depth of about 29,527 feet – holding a close record to what China aims to accomplish.

Rakot13/CC BY-SA 3.0The Kola Superdeep Borehole, nicknamed the ‘well to hell’, was sealed by Russia in 1992[/caption]

GettyJapan’s Chikyu vessel, pictured, managed to dig two miles under the sea floor[/caption]

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