Have you ever accidentally spotted a fossil?

Murmansk - Under the inconspicuous manhole cover, surrounded by rubbish, in the photo above, there is nothing less than the deepest hole on earth. Russian researchers discovered it in the 1970s. The reason they had to stop drilling is scary.

The “Kola Superdeep Borehole” is hidden under the manhole cover that you see in the photo above. Located in Murmansk, Russia, on the Kola Peninsula, it was drilled by Soviet explorers in 1970. The aim of the scientists: to find out what the earth's crust is like. They hoped to find out more about this 15,000 meters below the surface of the earth. The engineers worked for a total of 24 years - between 1970 and 1994. But then came the end.

6,700 meters of fossils

The researchers drove a massive drill with a diameter of 21.4 centimeters into the earth and the rock layers below, but from a certain depth they encountered problems with the heat below. The temperature below the earth's surface was 210 ° C - much more than the scientists had expected. That meant: the drilling was demolished - at a depth of exactly 12,262 meters. Back then, the scientists attributed the heat to the natural radioactivity of the rock. The researchers also discovered large amounts of water and 6,700 meters of plankton fossils down there - a total of 24 different species.

Crazy rumors

In 1989, crazy rumors about the drilling got going: the researchers heard noises in the hole through lowered microphones, which some interpreted as screams from below. This gave rise to a rumor that the scientists had accidentally drilled into hell. It is more likely that they simply heard seismic activity, but as is the case with conspiracy theories, they persist nonetheless.

Kola Superdeep Borehole (รัสเซีย) เป็น หลุม ที่ ลึก ที่สุด ใน โลก จาก ฝีมือ มนุษย์ 12,262 เมตร (12 กม. จาก พื้น ดิน) pic.twitter.com/v9P44ISs4O

- เว่อ อ ออ ออ ミ ● ﹏☉ ミ (@ beaver_ch5) April 16, 2014

Consolation for the researchers

Although the Soviet researchers drilled more than twelve kilometers into the earth, this corresponds to a rounded 0.2 percent of the distance that would have to be covered to reach the center of the earth. Consolation for the Soviet researchers: with their drilling in Kola they trumped the USA, which until then held the record for the deepest hole in the world. US scientists previously drilled “only” 9,583 meters deep - in the “Bertha Rogers Well” in the US state of Oklahoma. And as we know, records like this were extremely important for both sides during the Cold War.

Researchers keep discovering strange things underground - e.g. these ancient microorganisms.

tz / mm