Let's Dig a Hole to China!

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I'm assuming most of you have heard the saying "dig a hole to China".  Whenever I was at the beach as a kid, I would play on the beach and always think how cool it would be to dig a hole to China.  So for my blog, I decided to look into the feasability of actually digging a hole to China.  

Not surprisingly, digging through the center of the Earth is impossible.  According to an article from Live Physics, in order to dig through the center of the Earth, you would have to be able to dig through 12,000 kilometers of molten lava and rock in temperatures up to 6000 degrees Celsius and with a pressure 300 million times that of the pressure we experience here on Earth. These three combined factors, show how impossible it is to ever dig through the center of the Earth.  In fact, the most recent project undertaken into digging through the Earth was digging only 5 miles in the Earth, further than anyone had ever dug before.

The Core, A movie about digging to the Earth's core.

As it turns out, even if we could dig through the center of Earth, we wouldn't even up in China.    according to an article on NPR, with the exception of three small locations smattered in the midwest, if anyone in North America figured out how to dig a hole through the center of the Earth, they would end up in the middle of the ocean, not in China as the myth always says.

Screen Shot 2012-12-04 at 10.14.17 PM.png
If we dug a hole from Wartik, this is where we would end up.

So, unfortunately, there will be no digging to China anytime soon.  It will be interesting in the future to see how far into the Earth scientists will eventually be able to dig.  Will we ever reach the center of the Earth? Or will we only be able to scrape the surface?

1 Comment

Im glad you showed the cover of Core.. That was a great movie! But could the core actually stop spinning? The writers connected the stopping of the core with the destruction of the Earth's magnetic field which caused massive electric storms and reaped havoc on the entire planet by releasing microwaves. While this was creative it was also unnecessary because the earths magnetic field has naturally reversed over 7 times. Also the microwaves would be relatively harmless and would not be caused by the magnetic fields. On the extremely unlikely chance that the core did stop, the nuclear explosives used to jumpstart the Earth would be about 1,000,000 times too weak. Good job Hollywood... at least it was entertaining. What other movies scientifically blew it?

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