8 of the Earth's Deepest Places to Explore

We often look to the skies with wonder, but what lies beneath in the silent depths of the Earth?
Krubera cave, Georgia
Krubera cave, Georgia © Stephen Alvarez/Getty Images
By Alison Mann

Ever watch a dog furiously dig into the ground? What's he looking for? A previously buried bone perhaps, but humans have come to believe that there's something more to this search and have since set out to explore the depths of the elements below.

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There's something enticing about it. Of course, in some of these deep places you can see only pitch black, but in others you can see magic that's only offered below the Earth’s surface. From the inside of a volcano to the bottom of an ice-filled lake, these are some of the deepest places you could possibly see.

Cave exploration (pictured at top)

Where: Georgia
How deep: 7,208 feet
Difficulty to get there: 9

The Krubera Cave is currently the deepest known on Earth, and can be found in the Arabika Massive. It has been a hot spot for divers looking to explore the deepest parts of the cave. The deepest explored part is at 7,208 feet. Ukranian diver Gennadiy Samokhin set that record in 2012.

 

The first ever dive to the bottom of the ocean
The first ever dive to the bottom of the ocean © Thomas J. Abercrombie/Getty Images

Deep sea diving

Where: Mariana Trench
How deep: 35,813 feet (6.78 miles)
Difficulty to get there: 10

The deepest part of the ocean was first explored in January 1960 by Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard, using the bathyscaphe Trieste. It was also recently explored by filmmaker James Cameron in 2012. The dive was made in a one-man submersible called the Deepsea Challenger, and the director filmed the whole thing with the aim of promoting scientific discovery.

 

You can visit inside Thrihnukagigur Volcano
You can visit inside Thrihnukagigur Volcano © Iurie Belegurschi/IcelandPhotoTours

To the center of the Earth via volcano

Where: Iceland
How deep: 699 feet
Difficulty to get there: 5

This dormant volcano is the only one that can be explored from the inside. Don’t worry — it last erupted 4,000 years ago and there’s no indication there will be another soon. Visiting Thrihnukagigur Volcano is pretty easy. Visitors are lowered in on an open elevator and can then marvel at the multi-colored chamber.

 

The Mponeng gold mine is the deepest manmade hole
The Mponeng gold mine is the deepest manmade hole © Graeme Williams/Getty Images

Manmade hole

Where: South Africa
How deep: 13,123 feet
Difficulty to get there: 6

Mponeng is a gold mine in South Africa and at about 2.5 miles below the surface, it takes over an hour to reach the bottom. The structure is the deepest manmade hole on Earth and is actively mined today. When down in the depths of the mine, the temperature of the rock is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is at 95 percent.

 

Lake Baikal is the deepest in the world
Lake Baikal is the deepest in the world © Byron Tanaphol Prukston/Getty Images

The deepest lake

Where: Southeast Siberia
How deep: 5,371 feet
Difficulty to get there: 8

Lake Baikal is hardly a tourist hotspot because of its location in a remote part of Siberia. It is possible to dive to the bottom. In 2013 the Sochi Olympic torch was taken to the bottom of the lake by divers. President Putin even went there in a mini-submarine.

 

The lowest point on earth lies under ice
The lowest point on earth lies under ice © Gordon Wiltsie/Getty Images

The lowest point on Earth

Where: West Antarctica
How deep: 8,383 feet below sea level
Difficulty to get there: 10

The Bentley Subglacial Trench is the lowest point on the surface of the Earth that is not covered by ocean. It is, however, covered by ice. The pit is deeper than the Grand Canyon and was found by a group of scientists charting the Ellsworth Subglacial Highlands using satellites and ice-penetrating radar.

 

Ahmed Gabr during his record breaking dive
Ahmed Gabr during his record breaking dive © Jenny Lord

Deepest scuba dive

Where: Red Sea, Egypt
How deep: 1,090 feet
Difficulty to get there: 9

The deepest scuba dive was undertaken by Ahmed Gabr in September 2014. He dived 1,090.39 feet in the Red Sea to smash the record by over 46 feet.

 

Stefan Glowacz and Chris Sharma climbing during his expedition in Oman.
Dropping down into Majlis al Jinn © Klaus Fengler/ Stefan Glowacz GmbH

Cave climbing

Where: Oman
How deep: 1,107 feet
Difficulty to get there: 9

The Majlis al Jinn cave is one of the deepest chambers in the world. What makes it unique is that the only way to get in is by rappelling 525 feet. That is, unless you're Felix Baumgartner, who BASE jumped into the cave in 2007. Chris Sharma and Stefan Glowacz descended to the bottom of the cave and while climbing out managed to scale the world's largest un-climbed roof — a never-before-climbed route.

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