China has begun drilling a hole over 10,000 meters (32,808 feet) deep into the Earth's crust.
The project will provide data on the Earth's internal structure.
Chinese President Xi Jinping named deep Earth sciences one of four strategic frontiers to explore.
Scientists in China have begun drilling a hole over 10,000 meters (32,808 feet) deep into the Earth's crust, a report says.
The drilling project, led by the country's largest oil producer China National Petroleum Corp., would be among the deepest ever drilled.
The project began on Tuesday in the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang, according to China's state-run news agency Xinhua.
The drilling process will penetrate more than 10 layers of the Earth's crust and reach the Cretaceous system, consisting of rock dating back up to 145 million years.
"The construction difficulty of the drilling project can be compared to a big truck driving on two thin steel cables," Sun Jinsheng, a Chinese Academy of Engineering scientist, told Xinhua news agency.
Wang Chunsheng, a technical expert part of the operation, said that drilling the borehole is an attempt to explore the unknown territory of the Earth and expand the boundaries of human knowledge, according to Xinhua.
The project is expected to take 457 days and will provide data on the Earth's internal structure while using deep underground drilling technologies, Bloomberg reported, citing China National Petroleum Corp.
In a statement, the state-owned oil refiner, Sinopec, said the goal was to drill through an "underground Mount Everest," per Metro.
Everest in the Himalayas is the world's highest peak at 29,031 feet.
In a 2021 speech addressing the nation's top scientists, Chinese President Xi Jinping named deep Earth sciences one of four strategic frontiers to explore.
The project could help identify mineral and energy resources and assess the risks of environmental disasters like earthquakes and volcano eruptions, Bloomberg noted.
This hole will not be the deepest human-made despite its impressive depth. The deepest hole is still the Kola Superdeep Borehole in Russia, which reached 12,262 meters (40,230 feet) in 1989 after 20 years of drilling.
Read the original article on Business Insider