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Interactive video lesson plan for: 5 Incredible Holes | What the Stuff?!

Activity overview:

Holes come in different shapes and sizes, but what constitutes an incredible hole?

10 Incredible Holes:

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Chicxulub Crater image:

Challenger Deep map:

Video Attribution:

20dreams2020 Dec13

Giant Hole In yamal; The End of the Earth!

Song Attribution:
"A Difficult Subject" by The Insider

Gigantic pits are awesome. They combine all of my favorite things: mystery, danger, attractive nuisance and scary geology, not to mention potential access to Morlocks, Graboids, Lizard people, or the fiery abode of Molech. Here are some of the coolest.

The Darvaza Gas Crater. Now, it’s not the deepest or the most historically significant hole, but here are a few facts that earn it a place on this list: It’s in the middle of the desert in Turkmenistan, it’s free to the public, there’s no safety rail, and it’s been on fire for 43 years. In 1971, Soviet geologists accidentally broke open an underground reserve of natural gas, and as a safety precaution, they lit the opening to burn off the escaping volatiles. It’s been roaring with fire ever since, and adventure tourists now call it the “Door to Hell.”

Then there’s the Chicxulub Crater. What killed the dinosaurs? Volcanoes and climate change might have had them reeling, but the K-Pg impact event delivered the final blow. 65 million years ago, an asteroid more than 6 miles wide smashed into a shallow sea in the area that is now the Yucatan Peninsula. The impact was so powerful that it carved out a crater 112 miles in diameter.

Let’s get back to Russia, though. The Kola Superdeep Borehole was yet another example of the handiwork of Soviet scientists – this time trying to drill the deepest hole on Earth. By the time the project was abandoned in 1992, they had drilled 40,226 feet below the surface of the Kola Peninsula in Northern Russia. If you were able to fall down this hole, it would take you more than three minutes to hit the bottom. PS - If you’ve received an email forward telling the story of how these researchers broke through to a hollow chamber, lowered a microphone down into the hole and taped the screams of the damned – no worries, that was just a hoax.

While the Challenger Deep may not technically be a “hole”, it _is_ the deepest natural point on Earth, so I think it counts. The Challenger Deep is part of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. At the lowest point, its depth is greater than the height of Mt. Everest. At this depth, there’s 16,000 pounds per square inch of water pressing down on you. Enough to crush your bones like peanut shells. So surely nothing is alive down there, right? Wrong. A deep submersible in 1995 captured images of worms and shrimp living in the trench.

Now for something mysterious: the Yamal Peninsula Mystery Crater. What, Russia again?! Yes, but Northwest Siberia this time. In July 2014, a helicopter pilot spotted a deep, mysterious, 100-foot-wide pit that had appeared on the Yamal Peninsula. Everybody knew the cause: missile testing -- no, meteor impact, no -- Aliens. Turns out: The Earth farted. Studies of methane concentration within the pit revealed the hole was probably created when permafrost thawed and released a giant bubble of methane from the ground.

Have you ever found a portal to the underworld? Or do you have a favorite chasm or pit? Let us know in the comments and subscribe!

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