There is something menacing about the darkest depths of the Earth. Just below the crust is a world of total blackness that stretches for thousands of miles, far beyond the reach of light. Most people never see farther than a few feet into the ground, but there are a few very deep holes in this world that offer up a glimpse of what's hiding below. The deepest holes on Earth are as magnificent as they are phobia-inducing. It's pretty normal to be afraid of heights, but these pictures of horrifyingly deep holes prove that it's possible to be afraid of depths as well. Check out these scary deep holes, but be careful to watch your step.
What was once a massive copper mine in Butte, MT, is now home to a concoction of toxic waste and bizarre microorganisms. The pit itself is about 1,780 feet deep, but the bottom thousand feet are submerged in hyper-acidic water. The water at the surface is red thanks to all the heavy metals floating around in this poisonous soup. Tourists can pay to ogle the pit, which has ended the lives of hundreds of birds that sought to land in the water.
In 2010, a sinkhole opened up in Guatemala City that reached 300 feet deep - one of the largest human-made sinkholes ever. It was created thanks to a number of contributing factors, including leakage from sewer pipes, a tropical storm, and prior volcanic eruptions.
The hole reportedly claimed a three-story building and possibly a number of lives, although death tolls were uncertain due to Tropical Storm Agatha happening at the same time.
Welcome to the deepest point on Earth, the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean. Only a few people have ever been to the bottom, one of whom is acclaimed filmmaker James Cameron. The lowest point of this trench is known as Challenger Deep, and it is approximately seven miles from the surface. It is one of the harshest environments known to man; before the first dive, scientists debated whether life could exist there.
While the trench is under environmental protection from the US government, it the unfortunate victim of human pollution.
This sinkhole in Mexico is the largest in the world, and NASA scientists have explored it using an amazing robotic submarine. Nearly 1,000 feet deep, El Zacatón is truly a diver's nightmare. One person died while trying to make it to the bottom. It's full of geothermal vents that scientists believe make El Zacatón similar to habitats on Jupiter's moon Europa.