Today in hole digging news, China is using 2,200 ton heavy equipment to dig a 10,000 meter hole into the Earth to reach the 145 million year-old Cretaceous System.
It will be the deepest ever borehole ever attempted in the country.
Why are they doing this?
According to the Xinhua News Agency via Bloomberg, the over 32,000 feet deep hole will pass through 10 layers of rock formation with the hope being that it will reach rocks from the Cretaceous Period.
“The construction difficulty of the drilling project can be compared to a big truck driving on two thin steel cables,” Sun Jinsheng, a scientist at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told Xinhua.
The gigantic borehole project, which which broke ground on Tuesday, is being dug in the TaklaMaTaklamakankan Desert in the Tarim Basin. It is one of the largest desert regions in the world and the largest in China.
The drill that is being used to dig the hole has a design depth of over 6.83 miles.
IFL Science reports that the hole will be used “to identify mineral resources as well as help assess environmental risks like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”
Even if successful, the Chinese borehole will be still not be the deepest man-made hole in the Earth.
That title belongs to the Russian Kola Superdeep Borehole which reached a depth of 7.61 miles in 1989.
Work on that hole, which, according to IFL Science, had a diameter “no wider than a dinner plate,” began on May 24, 1970. So it took almost 20 years to reach that depth. Drilling finally ceased in 1992.
It was referred to by some as “the entrance to hell” and, the BBC reported, locals swore they could hear the screams of souls tortured in hell.
Unfortunately, drilling had to be stopped when temperatures at the bottom of the hole reached 356 degrees Fahrenheit.
In 2008, Russia said they were planning on destroying the borehole.