The Kola Superdeep Borehole is the deepest artificial point on our planet, deeper than even the marina trench. At 12,262 meters some even nickname it as the ‘Door to Hell’. The mysteries that this dig unearthed were totally unexpected.
It has always been a topic of debate that we as a race know more about other galaxies and alien planets that we do about our own planet. It is an interesting coincidence that the Voyager 1 spacecraft took nearly 26 years to leave our solar system, which is also the amount of time it took us to penetrate 12 kilometers into the earth’s surface.
It took around two decades for scientists to create the Kola Superdeep Borehole and drill to a depth of 12 kilometers. It was in 1989 that the drill reached 12,262 meters thus making it the deepest artificial point on the planet. For comparison sake, the deepest point in the ocean is 6.68 miles or 11 kilometers.
SO, WHAT DID SCIENTISTS FIND DOWN THERE?
After drilling for almost a decade and a half, experts have found that there’s a lot of water down there. And I do mean a LOT. Scientists discovered that there were mineralized water streams almost everywhere, all the way down the drill path. Apart from water, there are also a lot of gases like helium, hydrogen and even carbon dioxide from all along the borehole. However, experts were surprised when they discovered that at 9,000 meters the granite doesn’t give way to basalt. This is stark opposition to popular beliefs.
There are also fossils in granite located at around 6,700 meters below the surface of the earth. Apart from this, scientists measured the temperature at the bottom of the hole to be around 180 degrees Celsius. Thus giving rise to the name ‘Door to Hell’.
The most astounding fact, however, is that most scientists estimated the distance to the center of our planet at around 6,400 kilometers or 4,000 miles. As it turns out, 6,500 kilometers isn’t even close to that mark and whatever scientists have managed to drill is barely the surface.
“By far the most riveting discovery from the project, however, was the detection of microscopic plankton fossils in rocks over 2 billion years old, found four miles beneath the surface,” reports Bryan Nelson from Mother Nature Network.
“These ‘microfossils’ represented about 24 ancient species, and were encased in organic compounds which somehow survived the extreme pressures and temperatures that exist so far beneath the Earth.”