Top 10 Deepest Holes on the Planet by Natural Causes & Man-Made
|Kola Superdeep Borehole - The Deepest Borehole In The World|
|Table of Contents|
Quick Facts: Deepest Holes in the World
• Although we have traveled to the moon, we have barely scratched the surface of our planet when it comes to exploration.
• In Murmansk, Russia, there is a 7.6-mile-deep hole called the Kola Superdeep Borehole.
• When compared to the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the ocean, which is 6.8 miles deep, its depth is truly astounding.
• The Earth's crust is thought to be about 20 miles deep, so the world's deepest hole is still far from surpassing it.
Video - Top 10 Deepest Man-Made Holes in the World
What Is the Deepest Hole on Earth
The Kola Superdeep Borehole is the name of the world's deepest hole. Its drilling for research started in 1970, under the leadership of Russia. After the United States failed to do the same, the objective was to find the Earth's core. But in 1989, when the drill became stuck in rock at a depth of about 12.2 km (about 40,230 feet), progress was slowed down. The cost of this project was over $100 million per square foot.
The discovery of tiny plankton fossils in rocks over two billion years old, located four miles below the surface, was one of the expedition's most intriguing discoveries. These "microfossils" were made of inorganic compounds that survived the extreme pressures and temperatures found so far below the earth's surface and represented about 24 extinct species.
Researchers started to notice that temperatures were rising at depths over 10,000 feet more quickly than they had anticipated as drilling continued. By the time the hole had grown to its largest size, temperatures had risen above predicted levels and were shockingly higher than expected—356 °F as opposed to the expected 212 °F. Because the drill bit could no longer operate at such temperatures, drilling was stopped in 1992.
However, due to a lack of funding, the project was completely shelved in 2005. Since 2008, the location has been vacant; a metal seal has been placed over the hole. The Kola Superdeep Borehole has nearly been abandoned thus far, though the project's data is still being examined.
|The Kola Superdeep Borehole, the deepest hole on Earth, is situated in the Russian Murmansk Oblast's Pechengsky District, 10 kilometers north of the town of Zapolyarny. In the city of Zapolyarny is the Kola Core Repository. Poor roads make it challenging to get to the sealed hole.|
Deepest Man-Made Holes
The United States initiated the first attempts to explore the earth's mantle. The US hole had descended to a depth of 600 feet below the ocean's surface before being deemed too expensive and having funding revoked by Congress. They could only haul up a few feet of basalt because that was all that was left of the expedition, which would have cost about $40 million in today's money.
Russia entered the fray in 1970. And in this case, Russia outperformed the US, unlike the Moon landing. Researchers spent the next 20 years drilling 40,230 feet into the planet. It is known as the "Kola superdeep borehole" and has a diameter of only nine inches. It still holds the distinction of being the world's largest hole in terms of depth. Drilling was halted when the temperature reached 356 degrees Fahrenheit in 1992.
German scientists began drilling deeply in Bavaria in 1990 as part of their "German Continental Deep Drilling Program" to advance their understanding of the Earth's crust. The participants reportedly descended to a depth of just under 30,000 feet while experiencing temperatures as high as 509 degrees Fahrenheit.
Exxon Mobile in eastern Russia claimed the title of having the longest man-made hole in the world in 2011. Although its borehole is 42,000 feet deep, the digging doesn't go down straight. Although it is not the deepest hole, it is technically the longest.
The World’s Deepest Holes in China
Chinese engineers began construction on a new, extremely deep borehole in July 2023 as the nation intensifies its search for natural resources buried tens of thousands of feet underground.
In southwest China's Sichuan Basin, the hole will eventually extend 10,520 meters (34,514 feet) below the surface. According to the report, engineers expected to find a natural gas reserve in the area because it is a significant area for gas production.
The announcement was made just a few weeks after China started digging a new, even deeper super deep borehole, one that will reach a planned depth of 11,100 meters (36,417 feet). The Tarim Basin, an autonomous region in northwest China, is the site of that project.
They would rank among the two deepest boreholes created by humans in the world if they were finished. They would not, however, be the deepest. The current record belongs to the now-defunct Kola Superdeep Borehole in northwest Russia, a scientific drilling project from the Soviet era that took 20 years to complete and reached a depth of 12,262 meters (40,229 feet).
From top to bottom, these extremely deep holes are longer than Mount Everest, which is about 8,800 meters (28,871 feet) tall.
Top 10 Deepest Holes in the World Today
(Ranked and recommended by KnowInsiders.com).
1. Kola Superdeep Borehole, Russia
Depth: 39,600 feet
With a whopping depth of 39,600 feet, the Kola Superdeep Borehole is the deepest hole in the entire world. It is located in Murmansk, Russia, and extends a staggering 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) into the Earth's crust.
The history of the Kola Superdeep Borehole began in the early 1960s as the space race was intensifying and drilling began out of a sense of curiosity and as a result of the cold war between the United States and Russia over how deep one could go. The USSR was able to continue drilling from about 1970 until 1994, producing the Kola Superdeep Borehole, the deepest hole, in contrast to the US project, which was terminated in 1966.
In 2005, the project was formally abandoned, leaving only a rusted metal cap as a reminder of its once-promising existence.
2. Bingham Canyon Mine, USA
Location: Utah, USA
Depth: 10,560 feet
|Bingham Canyon Mine - Deepest Hole in the World|
The Bingham Canyon is the largest artificially excavated open-pit copper mine in the world, measuring 10,560 feet deep. The majority of this hole, which is close to Utah, belonged to Kennecott Copper Corp. However, this company was bought by British Petroleum and later sold to Rio Tinto following the 1973 oil crisis.
The mine is open every day of the year, 365 days a year. It is one of the best-performing mines in the world and has brought more wealth to the state of Utah than any other company, producing more than 20 million tons of refined copper ore in the last 116 years.
Rio Tinto's subsidiary Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. manages the Bingham Canyon. More than 2,400 people are employed here!
3. Icecube Neutrino Observatory
Depth: 7920 feet
A fascinating task awaits the Icecube Neutrino Observatory. This Observatory has been built to observe the cosmos from a depth of 7,920 feet beneath the South Pole ice!
There are 60 auxiliary digital optical modules that support the 86 cables that penetrate the ice and relay data from the subsurface to the surface above. These modules are suspended at depths ranging from 4,750 feet to more than 8,000 feet!
It required seven arduous years to drill the holes for these cables. A 25,000-pound hot water hose that melted 200,000 gallons of water per hole was used to dig these holes in the Southern Hemisphere.
4. Chuquicamata Mine, Chile
Location: Santiago, Chile
Depth: 2,790 feet
The Chuquicamata Mine, also known as Chuqui, has been in operation since the turn of the 20th century. One of the biggest open-pit copper mines, so the theory goes.
This copper mine, which dates back almost a century, is owned and run by Codelco, the company that by far produces the most copper worldwide. Since this mine is so old, improvements are currently being made. The new mine will have two air-extraction shafts, five clean air injection ramps, two air-extraction shafts, and four production levels. The access tunnel will be 7.5 km long.
This mine's lifespan was extended by at least 40 years thanks to the renovations that were made!
5. Mir Mine, Russia
Location: Eastern Siberia, Russia
Depth: 1,722 feet
The enormous open-pit Kimberlite Diamond mine known as the Mir Mine was found in 1955 by Soviet geologists. It was discovered by Soviet geologists during a sizable expedition to the Yakut ASSR and is also known as the Mirny Mine.
One of the first mines to be developed, this one is 1,722 feet deep. Work on its surface continued for 44 long years before being completed in 2001. But the Sakha diamond company took over this mine after the USSR fell apart in the 1990s. According to reports, this company sold diamonds and earned $600 million in profits each year.
Although there have been rumors to the contrary, there have been no confirmed reports of this mine sucking helicopters out of the sky as of yet.
6. The Berkeley Pit, USA
Location: Butte, Montana
Depth: 1,780 feet
|The Berkeley Pit|
The Berkeley Pit, which is situated in Butte, Montana, is 1,780 feet deep. The first 1,000 feet of this hole are filled with toxic water that contains high levels of hazardous substances like arsenic, copper, zinc, sulphuric acid, and toxic water. The Berkeley Mine, formerly an open pit copper mine, has assisted in supplying electricity to all of America!
Visitors can stand on a platform that has been constructed far away and view the mine. Another viewing platform is available from which spectators can see the Pit filling with water. This tourist destination is open to the public from March through November for a $2 admission fee.
Numerous bacterial and fungal species have been discovered inside the toxic and unforgiving Berkeley Pit. Their ability to adapt to such harsh conditions has demonstrated that they are immune to cancer, and studies are currently being conducted to confirm this.
7. Kimberley Diamond Mine, South Africa
Location: Kimberley, South Africa
Depth: 705 feet
The Kimberley Diamond Mine is located in South Africa at a depth of 705 feet. The 'Big Hole,' which is almost half a kilometer wide and has a depth of 215 meters, is located in the middle of this mine, which combines an open pit and an underground diamond mine.
This mine, which was hand-excavated, is thought to be one of the deepest ones ever dug. It has produced some of the largest and most expensive diamonds in the world and elevated the De Beers brand to international prominence.
Between 1871 and 1914, 50,000 miners removed 22.5 tons of rock and created 2,722 kg of rough diamonds from this mine.
8. Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island
Location: Clarence Town, Long Island
Depth: 633 feet
A hole that has water in it and has its entry point below the surface is referred to as a "bluehole." One of the largest holes is the Dean's Blue hole, which is 663 feet deep. It is situated in Long Island's Clarence Town.
The Dean's Blue hole, with its enormous depth of over 600 feet, has now become a great attraction for diving and snorkeling experiences. An average hole is thought to be about 360 feet deep. The water is so clear that you can see up to 30 meters in front of you. There are no waves in the Blue Hole because it is sealed off on all sides from the wind. The hole is a great place for swimmers who are just starting out to practice because of this.
William Trubridge broke two records on the same day in 2010, setting an astounding new record. He broke two records by diving to depths of 331 feet in one breath and 302 feet without the use of fins in the first record. William's attempts were powered only by his hands and feet.
9. Diavik Diamond Mine, Canada
Depth: 600 feet
|Diavik Diamond Mine|
Rio Tinto and the Dominion Diamond Corporation are the owners of the Diavik Diamond mine. It is situated on east island, an island found in Canada's Lac de Gras. Originally an open pit, this hole was later turned into an underground mine. Work on this mine began in 2010, and it was completed in 2012.
The Diavik Diamond Mine, which has Canada's largest hole, generates about 6-7 million carats annually. This mine broke its own records in 2018 by discovering one of the largest diamonds ever discovered, weighing a massive 522 carats. However, earlier in 2015, a Diavik Foxfire diamond weighing 187.7 carats was also found in the same mine.
The ore reserves in this mine total a whopping 18.1 million tons, and they are located in some of the highest-grade pipes on earth!
10. Devil’s Sinkhole, USA
Location: Rockspring, Texas
Depth: 400 feet
The Devil's Sinkhole has an impressive opening of 40*60 and a depth of 400 feet. Since 1985, it has been listed as a national natural landmark. The wives of Ammon Billings and other men who discovered this hole following a meeting with the Indians gave it the name "Devil's Sinkhole" in 1876.
The single-chamber cavern in this sinkhole is thought to be the biggest in all of Texas. Many cave explorers in the USA find this sinkhole amusing and interesting because of its enormous size and rumors that many bats live there.
HS Barber was one of the very first explorers to enter this sinkhole; his name and the date October 19, 1889 are inscribed in the cave.
For this list, we'll be looking at extreme hole-digging technology and the deepest natural and human-made holes found in the Earth's crust throughout human history.
In the future, there will be many more deep holes dug deep into the earth or discovered by humans. Therefore, the Top 10 deepest holes on earth above are only updated until the end of 2023, early 2024.
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