10/29/2012 08:00 am ET Updated Oct 29, 2012

Mantle Drilling Project Aims To Dig Deep To Understand Earth's Past (VIDEO)

Have you ever thought about what's under your feet? I mean, really, really deep down in the center of the Earth? Right now, a Japanese-led team is planning to drill and collect samples of our planet's mantle, roughly 6.2 miles (almost 33,000 feet) below the ocean floor. They want to learn more about regions that are currently only illustrated in textbook artists' conceptions.

And they aren't the first explorers to venture far below our terra firma. Half a century ago, a team of scientists attempted to drill through the Earth's crust in a mission called Project Mohole. They never reached their goal, but they did capture the imaginations of the American people, including famed author John Steinbeck, who wrote a feature about the operation in the April 14, 1961 issue of Life magazine.

To learn more, I spoke with Dr. Damon Teagle, the Ocean and Earth Science Director of Research at the University of Southampton's National Oceanography Centre. Watch the video above or click the link below to find out what he said about this journey to the center of the Earth. And don't forget to sound off by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page. Come on, talk nerdy to me!


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