Throughout history, humans have drilled their way into the ground; we’ve done some serious digging to penetrate the Earth’s mantle and some of the world’s wildest open-pit mines.
With impressive technology and the tools to get the job done, here are 10 of the deepest manmade holes ever dug!
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10. The Darzava Gas Crater
Known as the door to hell, the Darzava Gas Crater is a sinkhole which holds the honorable title as one of the most mysterious and unique holes in the world. The crater is around 230 feet wide and 100 feet deep. This natural gas field within an underground cavern is located in Derweze, Turkmenistan.
9. Udachnaya Pipe Mine
After mining began in 1971, the site quickly became Russia’s leading diamond enterprise. In 2011, the mine reached its current width of 5,249 by 6,561 feet, and 2,099 feet deep. The mine has estimated reserved of 225.8 million carats (46 tons) with an annual production capacity of 10.4 million carats (2 tons).
8. The Chuquicamata Copper Mine
Call it the "poor man's gold" all you want— copper is the most lucrative metal you can recycle. It is around 2,800 feet deep with 103 years dutiful in service, the hole is considered one of the largest holes ever dug into the earth.
7. The Berkeley Pit, Montana
The man-made hole is filled with more than 40 billion gallons of acidic water, heavy metals, and an array of unique microscopic lifeforms. So, what happened? Located outside of Butte, Montana, the pit of poison was once so lucrative, it was dubbed "The Richest Hill in the World", with over a billion tons of copper ore, silver, gold and other precious metals extracted from the rock within.
6. The Kimberley Diamond Mine, Africa
Digging began in 1866 with the discovery of an 83.5 (1.8 ton) carat, which was quickly named the Star of South Africa, and spawned a diamond rush which caused the open pit mine to reach a diameter of 1,500 feet and a depth of 800 feet— all by hand.
5. IceCube Neutrino Observatory, Antarctica
Deployed on strings of 60 DOMs which reach depths of approximately 4,800 to 8,000 feet, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory is the first detector of its kind— designed to observe the galaxy from deep within the South Pole Ice.
4. Mirny Mine, Russia
Considered one of the larger artificial excavated sites on the planet, the mine has a diameter of 4,000 feet and a depth of 1,722 feet. Rumor has it that the gaping orifice can suck helicopters straight out of the sky, though no proof exists to test the tale.
3. The Bingham Canyon Mine, Utah
This man-made excavation project contributes to around 19 million tons of copper distributed around the world— an amount which makes sense due to this nature of its size. The mine dips 3,960 feet deep into the earth’s crust and covers 1,900 acres of land.
2. Kola Superdeep Borehole, Russia
This next manmade creation is deeper than the deepest part of the ocean, reaching a mind-bending depth of 40,230 feet. This massive super hole stretches almost 8 miles into the Earth and is considered the second longest borehole ever created.
1. Z-44 Chayvo Well, Sakhalin Oblast, Russia
In 1949 the average depth of oil drilled was 3,635 feet; by 2008 that number rose to 6,000. In 2012 however, the company Exxon Neftegas completed the z-44 Chayvo well which plummets to an astronomical depth of 40,606 feet.