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Why has nobody just dug down? Answered

I know we have really deep oil wells and geothermal things, but why have we not even attempted seeing how low we really can go.  In this day and age automation is easy and affordable, yet we haven't designed some simple machine to drill down to extreme temperatures and pressure to see what is really happening inside our earth.

I propose a machine, similar to one of these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunnel_boring_machine and we set it up to build a tunnel at a 45 degree angle and to place concrete pieces around just like it normally would, except on its own.  Water would be used to remove the material and if that became too difficult due to high pressure then.  A station would be built to boost pressure every so often.  

Who doesn't think it would be awesome to walk around at the same depth as an oil well normally is, or deeper.  Because this drill is self contained it would have endless possibilities, at least until it melted or needed a cutting head repair.



Project moho 1958 - 1966

This is much more difficult then you think - the mantle is about 2900Km thick

However we havn't managed to drill much more then 12.7 km into the crust - about 7 miles at this depth the temps were about 180 deg C

They estimate that if they had reached their target of 15 km then the temp in the bottom of the hole would have been 300 deg c

It took 24 years to get that deep and the hole was 9 inches in diameter.



Thanks so much for your input, especially that core article.

I guess they never made it to the level where its a hollow center with Dinosaurs living there. Or the latest fiction which has "abnormals" living there in a giant super advanced city.

Amanda Tapping from stargate sure took a downgrade in Scify when she took on the new role. More fantasy than anything else, not much science except incorrect science.
I really loved the one where a giant wave was created by this angry abnormal and was going to take out the coast. At the last moment giant rock slides and earth quakes formed an outgoing wave that would cancel the incoming wave. Basic high school Physics, the waves move through each other and keep going. The only place that gets canceled is where they meet. You can demonstrate it with slinkes on a floor. Or even a piece of taut rope. At least Vernes called it fiction rather than pretending that it is real science.
Oh well, there I go again off on a tangent about bad writers and the people who believe the stuff that they write.

People have seen how low they can go - do a bit of research.
-How would anyone appreciate the depth (one hole in the ground being pretty much the same as any other if you're at the bottom of it)?
-Who would throw money at doing this, and why?


What else is there to do, it would be an amazing achievement and way to study our earths core. It will also help us understand more about the low spot in the earths magnetic field. I am sorry but I am getting tired of this, people post and tell me to do research which is exactly what I am doing, I missed the ISSR's big hole before righting this question and yes I now know why, but I still thing we could do better. WE WOULD BE NOWHERE IF WE DIDN'T THROW MONEY AT THINGS, THAT IS THE TRUTH OF SCIENCE. You should be ashamed of saying that, the first computer was a big project and it could do just about nothing, and it took a lot of money. I dare you to discard your computer and anything else that people have put their money into to design or build and better YOUR LIFE.
-cheers :)

People can learn about things without actually going there, like astronomy, or quantum-physics.

What value in  $ terms can you place upon spending an enormous amount of cash to put someone 4K? underground over just drilling a 4K borehole?


Do you know how much Hubble space telescope cost. Do you know how much ITER is going to cost. I am against none of these, but they are great examples of things that have proved their worth. I see no problem in drilling extremely deep, we could collect massive amounts of energy. One hole drilled with a large tunnel boring machine down to the deepest we have been, has potential to power the entire US. Think of this, the temperatures are 200 to 300 degrees Celsius. You have endless space to expand outward. You can pump oil through tubes into massive boilers similar to the California solar collection facility seen in the movie Gataca. But why have we not done this, because it requires money, because people without any faith knock it down, or because nobody has thought of it yet. Yes we collect geothermal energy, but oil at temperatures over 200 degrees Celsius heating water and producing steam power would be amazing. I just found something really cool out, I expected a machine to cost a couple million, but a good used one can be found for around 750,000 USD.

The Hubble telescope isn't manned, and doesn't need a crew.
ITER has definite purpose(s)
People do drill deep.

-I don't see the value in digging a big hole just to get a person to the bottom of it, which is where you started the question. Is this now a geothermal energy question?


I did slightly hint at geothermal energy at first, but no this was not a geothermal energy question. It was more of a backup reason, something to provide additional reasoning to why I would like to do this. From the beginning this was not just to put someone at the bottom of a big hole. As you probably know our magnetic field is weakening in the southern hemisphere. We also know almost nothing about the inside of our planet. At depths like this we may find some new amazing fuel source or something (like in the ground, not geothermal). Not only could this be a great source of energy scientist could capture massive amounts of information simultaneously. 44.2 Terawatts flows to the surface of the earth in the form of heat, in is not captuarable there, but as you go deeper more and more becomes usable. Our highest geothermal production (in the US)
is slightly over 3000 megawatts. The US uses 3.3 Terawatts on average. (Please excuse the lack of watt hour information, I guess we are stuck with real time). Now if we are the first ones to tap into this energy we can be rich, because we are first and we will be the biggest, but if other people attempt it we run into the problem of over-cooling our planet. In that case we will get to stay, but no new plants will be allowed, see the method behind my madness here, are you on board yet.

It's like putting a fella on Mars: what value is there in the expense of getting a person to a spot over using robots / probing-devices?


Hummm... Lets see, have you heard of over-population. Do you see a point in the expense of designing a million dollar robot that is temporary instead of sending a human to experience it first hand, faster, and more effectively. I don't think you read my whole comment either.

I read enough.
Count the cost of making the hole - half the diameter = much less expense. What can a person do at the bottom of a hole that a robot can't?


If you can get BBC on the internet, BBC2 has a program about trying to get to the centre of the earth - ON NOW!  Horizon - Core.

Darn, I can't, I have seen part of it and I saw the experiment picture with the two diamonds and iron-nickle in the middle In a science today magazine or something. I love positive people like you, thanks for your interest.

THIS Dilbert cartoon made me laugh.


6 years ago

Jules Verne : "Journey to the Center of the earth" published in 1864


As Lemonie said, perhaps you need to do a bit of research.