These are the deepest and largest man-made holes in the world

Employees work at a gas drilling rig at the Bovanenkovo gas field on the Yamal peninsula in the Arctic circle on May 21, 2019. (

Since the early 1960s, humans have attempted to drill down to the Earth’s mantle.
Russia holds the record for the deepest man-made hole in the world at more than 40,000 feet deep. That’s 7.6 miles.
No one has ever reached the Earth’s mantle, although scientists have never given up trying to get to it.
Some of the other deepest man-made holes are from oil companies, while some of the largest holes have been dug to extract copper and diamonds.
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America might have landed on the moon, but Russia drilled the deepest man-made hole on Earth.

Since the early 1960s, scientists have attempted to drill down to the Earth’s mantle.

It took 20 years, but Russia drilled down 40,230 feet into the earth, before heat forced work to stop. Despite reaching such a depth, Russia never got to the mantle. But nearby residents have said they can hear souls screaming in hell coming from it.

After that, Germany and Japan entered the race. But, still, no one’s managed to drill to the mantle.

Outside of science, oil companies have drilled deep and narrow to extract oil, and mining companies have dug large and wide to extract copper and diamonds.

These are the deepest and largest man-made holes in the world.

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Humans first began digging toward the Earth’s mantle in the 1960s, when American scientists conceived of the project known as “Project Mohole,” named after Andrija Mohorovicic, who discovered the boundary between the earth’s crust and mantle.

Sources: CNN, BBC

Like the race to the moon, it was a showdown between the US and Russia to see who could get to the mantle. Because, as University of Southampton’s Damon Teagle told CNN in 2012, even though the mantle makes up nearly 70% of the Earth, scientists only have a “reasonable” understanding of what it’s made from, and how it works.

Sources: BBC, CNN

Only in the al-Hajar mountains in Oman is there an exposed section of the Earth’s mantle. But it’s not a living sample — it was last inside the Earth millions of years ago.

Sources: LiveScience, NASA

Project Mohole’s drilling was done on a boat in the ocean rather than on land, because the crust is thinner on the ocean floor, although where it’s thinner is also typically where the ocean is deepest. The researchers drilled near the island of Guadalupe off the west coast of Mexico.

Sources: Nature, BBC

The US hole went 600 feet below the sea floor before it was deemed too expensive, and Congress cut funding. They did manage to bring up several feet of basalt, which in essence cost about $40 million in today’s dollars, since that was all there was to show from the expedition.

Sources: Nature, BBC

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