In the world's deepest gold mine, workers will venture 2.5 miles (4 km) below the Earth's surface to extract from a 30-inch (0.8m) wide vein of gold-rich ore.
While these depths are impressive, mining is limited by the frailty of the human body. Going much deeper would be incredibly dangerous, as limitations such as heat, humidity, logistics, and potential seismic activity all become more intense.
Luckily, the oil industry does not have such human obstacles, and drilling deep into the Earth’s crust is instead limited by a different set of circumstances – how deep can the machinery and technology go before the unfathomable heat and pressure renders it inoperable?
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