• Question: Could you dig to Australia?

    Asked by purplebug123 to Adam, Catherine, Karen, Leila, Nazim on 19 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Adam Stevens

      Adam Stevens answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      Only if:
      – you have a spade made of something less meltable than solid iron
      – you have a suit made of something less meltable that solid iron
      – you have about a million years.

      The deepest humans have ever dug is less than 10km down. The earth is about 120,000km across. That’s a lot of digging yet to do.

    • Photo: Nazim Bharmal

      Nazim Bharmal answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      No, the deepest we’ve ever gone through the Earth was in Russia to a depth of about 12,000m. Australia is about 12,000,000m away.

      There was a scientist who proposed a probe to the centre of the Earth. It started with 1,000,000 tons of molten iron (he was serious) that sealed the hole it made behind it. So no shaft.

    • Photo: Leila Battison

      Leila Battison answered on 19 Mar 2012:

      Not unless you had a very long time, didn’t mind getting burnt to death in the inner core (or actually well before that – temperature increases 22 degrees per km down), your shovel can go through solid iron!

      But keep digging that hole on the beach…. you never know!

    • Photo: Catherine Rix

      Catherine Rix answered on 20 Mar 2012:

      I tried this once when I was eight years old at the beach. I ended up very tired with a hole that wasn’t even very deep.