The Cold War was one of the more depressing times of human history. During it, we saw the leading superpowers on earth competing with each other to the point where we though a global nuclear war was possible.
Still, despite all the problems that this period of time saw, it also caused a lot of innovations that have change the way we see the world today.
So much so, that despite the plethora of books and movies made covering these events, there are still a few things that have been left unnoticed.
Some of these innovations came from what one would describe as possibly the weirdest form of competition ever; drilling holes in the ground.
Yes, you heard it right. During the Cold War, both America and USSR embarked on a competition to see who could get closest to the center of the earth.
On the American side, the drilling happened under the name of Project Mohole. It was carried out off Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and it was what proved that deep sea drilling was actually possible.
So, the next time you see some news about offshore drilling platforms, you can thank the American sense of competition for it.
On the Russian side, the drilling was done in the Kola Peninsula, under the name Kola Superdeep Borehole. Unlike the Americans who gave up quite easily, the USSR kept drilling for over 20 years, finally stopping after they reached 12 kms deep.
At this depth, this hole can easily be considered the Deepest Man Made Excavation on the planet, even though noone remembers it exists.
Fortunately, this hole didn’t go waste either. During the excavation, the team involved were able to unearth a group of microfossils, that represented approximately 24 species that had gone extinct long ago.
So, even though at first glance, this would seem like a futile attempt at one upping your enemy, it still is proof that the best innovations in history have been made thanks to childish competition.