Friday, September 30, 2005

There's a hole in the bottom of the sea.

Well, not yet, but if Japanese geophysicists get their way, there soon will be. Work has recently been completed on the Chikyu, a 57,500 ton research vessel with 112 meters (about 367.5 feet) worth of drilling derrick sticking above its waterline. The $540 million vessel is part of an international project to drill holes through the earth's crust and into the mantle, where it is believed that a great deal of new information about the planet's structure and seismic processes can be obtained. The scientists hope to drill a hole about 7 kilometers (4.3 or so miles) into the crust to reach the mantle.

Of course, it's possible that the drill could hit a gas pocket. If it does, it might release a plume of gas that could sink the ship, or simply set off what the Scientific American article on the subject described as "catastrophic explosions and fires." What could possibly go wrong?


At 2:04 PM, Blogger nulloutput said...

"What could go wrong?"

Sounds like a scientific version of "Hey Ya'll Watch this."


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