Urban Legends

Drilling to Hell

The Legend

Collected in 1993

A team of geologists traveled to one of the most remote areas of Siberia to drill a 10-mile deep hole as part of a detailed study of the earth's crust. About 9 miles into the drilling, the drill began to spin wildly, as if it no longer met any resistance. The team's leader, Dr. Howcum Azzacov, said he believed this was an indication that the Earth was hollow.

Sensors on the drill's tip read a temperature of more than 2,000 degrees Celsius. After withdrawing the drill, the team lowered microphones into the hole in hopes of hearing the sounds of deep-earth geological activity.

What they heard was something else entirely.

"I could hear the screams of the damned," said Dr. Azzacov. "There were millions upon millions of suffering souls crying out from the flaming pit of hell for salvation. We're going to do what we can for them. We threw down a few sandwiches and Cokes, and are going to attempt a mass rescue as soon as we can find a 9-mile-long rope."

Some religious leaders protested against Dr. Azzacov's plan to rescue the damned from their eternal punishment. He responded: "We had nothing but good intentions when we drilled that hole. Live and let live, I always say."

Behind the Legend

This story is both shocking and disturbing. Unfortunately, the truth behind it is much less interesting.

Apparently, the geological team was not very experienced at drilling. Their sensors were misaligned so they drilled at an angle instead of straight toward the planet's core. When the drill broke through, it wasn't through the planet's interior, but through its surface. The team had inadvertently drilled a tunnel through the Earth's crust, finally breaking through in the middle of an Ozzy Ozbourne concert.

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