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

8 of the deepest places Earth can offer

Wondrous locations where you might need to dig deep to reach – or at least require a professional caver.
Written by Alison Mann
3 min readPublished on
There is something enticing about travelling to the deepest depths the world has to offer. Of course, at some of these you see only black, but others you can see magic that's only offered below the earth’s surface. From stepping inside the imposing chamber of a volcano, to an ice-filled lake, these are some of the deepest places you could possibly see.

1. Krubera Cave

Krubera cave, Georgia
Krubera cave, Georgia
Where: Georgia | How deep: 2,197m | 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 2,197m. Ukranian diver Gennadiy Samokhin set the record in 2012.

2. Mariana Trench

The first ever dive to the bottom of the ocean
The first ever dive to the bottom of the ocean
Where: Mariana Trench | How deep: 10,916m | 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 film maker 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.

3. Dormant volcano, Iceland

You can visit inside Thrihnukagigur Volcano
You can visit inside Thrihnukagigur Volcano
Where: Iceland | How deep: 213m | 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-coloured chamber.

4. Mponeng, South Africa

The Mponeng gold mine is the deepest manmade hole
The Mponeng gold mine is the deepest manmade hole
Where: South Africa | How deep: 4,000m | Difficulty to get there: 6
Mponeng is a gold mine in South Africa and at 4km below the surface, it takes over an hour to reach the bottom. The structure is the deepest man-made hole on earth and is actively mined today. When down in the depths of the mine, the temperature of the rock is around 60ºC, and has 95 percent humidity.

5. Lake Baikal

Lake Baikal is the deepest in the world
Lake Baikal is the deepest in the world
Where: South-east Siberia | How deep: 1,637m | 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 and President Putin even went there in a mini-submarine.

6. Bentley Subglacial Trench

The lowest point on earth lies under ice
The lowest point on earth lies under ice
Where: West Antarctica | How deep: 2,555m below sea level | Difficulty to get there: 10
The Bentley Subglacial Trench is the lowest point on the surface of 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.

7. Red Sea, Egypt

Ahmed Gabr during his record breaking dive
Ahmed Gabr during his record breaking dive
Where: Red Sea, Egypt | How deep: 332.35m | Difficulty to get there: 9
The deepest Scuba dive was undertaken by Ahmed Gabr in September 2014. He dived 332.35m in the Red Sea, Egypt to smash the record. The new record beat the existing one by 14.1m.

8. Majlis al Jinn cave

Dropping down into Majlis al Jinn
Dropping down into Majlis al Jinn
Where: Oman | How deep: 310m | 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 there is by absieling 160m. 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.