If a deep hole opened up, would humans get crushed by the pressure?

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Let’s say hypothetically a giant hole suddenly opened up that went super deep into the Earth’s mantle or even its core. Let’s also ignore the fact that it will be scorching hot and filled with lava or water. Let’s just say it opens up, it’s dry land, and we start exploring it. I know that the atmospheric pressure would be greater. Would it be similar to the sea where the body would eventually be crushed at a certain depth? And would explorers be required to do something similar to how deep sea divers decompress when they ascend?

In: Physics

11 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Assuming atmospheric pressure goes up 12 kPa per km; 6300 km is 75,600 kPa (746 atmospheres).

The deepest part of the ocean is 11 km. About 1000 atmospheres. Water is much denser but compared to the planet the oceans are incredibly shallow.

The decompression deep sea divers do is because they are breathing compressed air to equalize the pressure between themselves and the deep water. Equalizing reduces the need to fight the water pressure (if your body is at 1 atmosphere inside, 10 atmospheres outside is a lot. If you breath 10 atmospheres inside, you don’t feel the difference at 10 atompsheres). If you arise too quickly, nitrogen bubbles form in your blood. All of this would be the exact same behavior in water or air

My assumptions on depth do not apply correctly, the more accurate pressures at core of planet is 3-4 million atmospheres

Anonymous 0 Comments

You wouldn’t be crushed period. Your body is mostly water, which is functionally incompressible. If someone tied a lead weight to your foot and dropped you into the ocean over the Marianas Trench and you didn’t have to breathe, you’d go right down to the bottom just fine. Your eyes and eardrums would probably be unhappy, but the rest of you would still function.

It’s the gasses in your body that don’t like pressure, not your body itself.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You’d die long before you got crushed, like for deep sea divers the various gases in the air become toxic.

At the bottom of a hole 10km deep the air pressure would be 3x the pressure of sea level. That’s when you start to get nitrogen narcosis.

If you replace nitrogen with helium you could get down to 55km (70x pressure) which is the current record for diving pressure.

Much more than that and oxygen gas itself starts to become toxic.

And yes you’d need to decompress as you came back up

Edit: just to add that the pressure at the deepest part of the ocean would be equal to air pressure in a 121km deep hole, so our best deep sea subs could potentially go down that far, but it’s only just past Earth’s crust.

[Source for the depths](https://www.mide.com/air-pressure-at-altitude-calculator)

Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

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Anonymous 0 Comments

These giant holes deep into the earth are called deep mines, such as many of South Africa’s gold mines.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It already happened about 6 million years ago – [Link](https://www.gondwanatalks.com/l/the-mediterranean-sea-dried-up-almost-completely-during-the-messinian-salinity-crisis/)

Anonymous 0 Comments

This thread is why I love Reddit. It’s a great question and a bunch of really interesting and thought provoking answers that all generally agree.

Anonymous 0 Comments

This video actually explains it

Anonymous 0 Comments

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