# Are Geologists Able to Drill to the Center of the Earth?

In a word, No. The center of the Earth is roughly 3,959 miles (6,371 km) down. The deepest hole that was ever drilled was the Kola Superdeep Borehole, at 7.6 miles (12.26 km) deep. That’s 0.19% of the way to the center of the Earth.

### Kola Superdeep Borehole

The Kola Superdeep Borehole is the result of a scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union in the Pechengsky District, on the Kola Peninsula, longitude and latitude coordinate: 69°23′46.39″N 30°36′31.20″E . The project attempted to drill as deep as possible into the Earth's crust.

The Kola project was funded by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and drilling proceeded from 1970 all they way to 1992 when the project was shut down. In true scientific fashion, their goal was simply to drill as far down as they could just to see what they could find. What they found was that as they drilled, the heat and pressure made drilling really difficult. The hole kept collapsing as the hot rock got, for lack of a better word, squishy. Still, there were some pretty cool scientific discoveries made and some perplexing questions raised.

 Kola Superdeep Borehole, 2007

### Why Can't We Drill a Hole to the Center of the Earth?

There are several challenges that make it impossible to drill to the center of the Earth. One challenge is the heat. The temperature at the center of the Earth is estimated to be about 9,941 degrees Fahrenheit (5,505 degrees Celsius). This heat would melt any drill bit that was made of a material that is currently known to exist.

Another challenge is the pressure. The pressure at the center of the Earth is estimated to be about 360,000 times the pressure at sea level. This pressure would crush any drill bit that was made of a material that is currently known to exist.

Finally, the distance is simply too great. Even if it were possible to overcome the heat and pressure challenges, it would take an incredibly long time to drill to the center of the Earth. The Kola Superdeep Borehole took 22 years to drill just 12.26 miles (19.7 kilometers). It would take millions of years to drill to the center of the Earth.

For these reasons, it is not possible for geologists to drill to the center of the Earth. However, scientists are still able to learn a great deal about the Earth's interior by studying the rocks and minerals that are brought up from deep drilling projects.

Update: China is Drilling a 32,808 -feet Deep Hole into the Earth