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The Hole War
It is one of the weirdest aspects of the Cold War between the United States and the USSR: a race to build not the bigger rocket or the better city or even the superior technology.
The Race To The Bottom
Instead, this was a race to see who could dig the deepest hole into the Earth’s crust. Like kids trying to dig to the other side of the planet to get to China or Australia, but with power tools and the backing of their governments and vastly greater sums of money to support their efforts.
The US kicked off the race in 1961 with Project Mohole, which aimed at reaching the Mohorovičić discontinuity, which is the place where the Earth’s crust meets the mantle.