Many things about the earth drive humans to lifetimes of adventure and discovery. There’s no denying how much interest humans have in things such as - the earth’s highest altitude above sea level at Mount Everest, the lowest point on earth in Jordan, the hottest recorded temperature in Death Valley, and the coldest temperature in Yakutsk. Apparently, there is so much to learn about the earth on the surface but only little is known about what lies beneath this beautiful planet, especially at its center. While some have tried to some extent, there has not been a single record of any government, individual, or group of people who made it to this part of the earth.
Now, this makes the topic more interesting since it is known that the world’s superpowers like to stay ahead of each other in the area of scientific and technological achievement. One would ask why such an interesting mission has not yet been accomplished? Perhaps it is a much greater task than landing on the moon and mars or launching hundreds of satellites into orbit. Well, it might be because there’s more to this journey than meets the eye.
Where would The Center Of The Earth be Located?
The center of the earth is located at the earth’s inner core. This is the innermost layer of the earth and it is located nearly 4,000 miles beneath its surface. The temperature and pressure are two important factors to note about this place as these conditions change drastically the deeper one goes beneath the earth. At the earth’s center, the temperature is estimated to be more than 5,700°C or just as hot as the surface of the sun while the pressure is estimated to be more than 3 million times higher than the pressure of the earth’s surface.
It might sound easy but the journey between the earth’s surface and the center of the earth is not a skydive. To get to that point, one has to go through four different stages - the earth’s crust, the earth’s mantle, the earth’s outer core, and the earth’s inner core so pack those drilling pieces of equipment and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
What It’s Like To Travel To The Center Of The Earth
The earth’s crust is the first phase of the journey to the center of the earth. This layer is like the skin of the earth. It is about 25 miles deep and is mostly made up of different types of rocks. This earth’s crust is the easiest part of the journey but even making it through the entire length has been an impossible task for humans.
The Kola Superdeep Borehole at 12 km (7.5 miles), is the deepest point man has reached on the earth’s crust. When compared to the journey to the center of the earth, that is just 0.1875% of the entire length and by the way, it took the Soviets up to 20 years to drill that deep into the earth. If the earth was an egg, then man has barely even made it past the shell. When the drilling of the Kola Superdeep Borehole got to this point, the temperature was around 180°C hence the project had to be stopped since this temperature was hazardous to the equipment. Who knows what lies deeper than that? Perhaps this center of the earth could be the actual location of the underworld so many cultures and teachings around the world have talked about for years.
Moving forward past the earth’s crust is the earth’s mantle which is the most excruciating part of the journey to the center of the earth. The mantle with a thickness of 1,802 miles is the largest and bulkiest part of the earth making up 84% of the planet’s total volume. This layer is positioned between the earth’s crust and the earth’s outer core. It is made up of iron, aluminum, calcium, sodium, potassium as well as different types of solid rocks such as silicate and magnesium oxide.
The temperature hovers around 1,000°C at the mantle’s border with the earth’s crust and increases to 3,700°C as it goes deeper to the base of the lower and final part of the mantle which lies at the mantle’s border with the earth’s outer core.
The Earth’s Outer Core
Assuming in a fantasy world, a dream, or a wild imagination, one manages to get past the earth’s mantle, the next part of the journey is the earth’s core which is divided into the outer core and inner core. The outer core lies immediately beneath the mantle at a depth of more than 1,800 miles and presents an entirely different environment from the mantle. In comparison, the outer core is as big as Mars and is characterized by magnetic and electrical fields. It is made up of liquid metal and its temperature hovers at approximately 5,000°C. It is worth noting that the earth’s magnetic field originates from the mantle making it one of the most important parts of the planet.
The Earth Inner Core And The Center Of The Earth
After thousands of miles of plunging through rocks, iron, and liquid metal, the journey reaches the earth’s inner core which is characterized by a solid ball. The inner core is like the yolk inside an egg, except the greater part of this round solid shape is made up of iron while the smaller part is made up of nickel. At this point, the temperature is equivalent to that of the surface of the sun or approximately 6,000°C.
This inner crust is officially the center of the earth but with a pressure 3 million times greater than the earth’s surface and such a melting temperature, impossible is an understatement when it comes to the reality of getting to this part of the earth. Nevertheless, this mission remains in the hearts of scientists and brave explorers around the world who believe that humans might someday be able to achieve this great achievement.