The Deepest Underground Structures in the World
What kinds of underground structures can be found far below Earth’s surface? You may be surprised to learn of the wide variety of structures that have been built hundreds, and in some cases even thousands, of meters underground. We took a deep dive into the Internet to find the five deepest of a variety of different types of underground structures. From the world’s deepest mine to the deepest swimming pool and underground bunker, you’re sure to be in awe at the depths of some of these underground facilities.
While deep underground may seem like an odd place to build a structure, these incredible depths can be very beneficial for certain applications. One type of structure we focused on was underground laboratories, where being deep underground helps to shield sensitive physics experiments from cosmic radiation that’s constantly bombarding Earth’s surface.
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What Are the Deepest Underground Structures in the World?
The deepest underground structure included on this diagram is the Kola Superdeep Borehole, which is the deepest artificial point on Earth and reaches a depth of 12,262 meters. Located in the Pechengsky District in Russia, this man-made hole was an attempt by the Soviet Union to drill as deeply as possible into Earth’s crust.
While this diagram is broken down into the top five deepest of various underground structures, the list below highlights the ones that were found to be the deepest of their kind in the world.
15 Underground Structures That Are the Deepest of Their Kind
- Deepest Basement: The deepest basement is the famous Sydney Opera House’s parking garage at 37 meters deep, almost as deep as the building is tall.
- Deepest Swimming Pool: The world’s deepest swimming pool is the Blue Abyss in Colchester, U.K., which reaches a depth of 50 meters. This underground facility is dedicated to training astronauts for space missions.
- Deepest Auditorium: The deepest auditorium is the Gjøvik Olympic Cavern Hall in Gjøvik, Norway, which sits 55 meters beneath a mountain. It was built to house ice hockey matches during the 1994 Winter Olympics.
- Deepest Subway Station: The deepest metro station, with a depth of 105.5 meters, is the Kiev Metro’s Arsenalna Station in Kiev, Ukraine.
- Deepest Hotel Room: The deepest hotel room is the Mine Suite at the Silvermine Hostel in Sala, Sweden. This former silver mine is located 155 meters underground.
- Deepest Particle Accelerator: The Large Hadron Collider, located beneath the border of France and Switzerland, is the deepest particle accelerator, at a depth of 175 meters. It is also the world’s largest single machine, with a length of 27 km.
- Deepest Well: The deepest well is Woodingdean Well in Brighton, England, at 392 meters deep. This hand-dug well took four years of back-breaking work before water was reached.
- Deepest Nuclear Fuel Repository: The Onkalo Nuclear Repository in Eurajoki, Finland, is the deepest nuclear fuel repository, reaching a depth of 520 meters. It’s the world’s first repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste.
- Deepest Radioactive Waste Storage: The Schacht Asse II Repository, located in the Asse Mountains of Wolfenbüttel in Germany, is the deepest repository for radioactive waste, at 750 meters deep.
- Deepest Bunker: The deepest underground bunker is the Central Military China Commission’s Joint Military Command Centre in Bejing, located 2,000 meters underground. It is said that the bunker should hold one million people.
- Deepest Cave: The Veryovkina Cave, at a depth of 2,212 meters, is the world’s deepest cave. It is located in Abkhazia, Georgia, where the next three deepest caves in the world can also be found.
- Deepest Laboratory: The China Jinping Underground Laboratory is the deepest laboratory, at 2,400 meters underground. Located in Sichuan, China, it is considered to be the best-shielded underground lab in the world.
- Deepest Railway Tunnel: The Gotthard Base Tunnel, located in the Alps in Switzerland, is the deepest railway tunnel, 2,450 meters beneath a mountain.
- Deepest Mine: The world’s deepest mine is the Mponeng Gold Mine, reaching a depth of 4,000 meters. This mine can be found in Gauteng, South Africa, not far from the other top five deepest mines in the world.
- Deepest Artificial Point on Earth: At 12,262 meters deep, the Kola Superdeep Borehole, found in the Pechengsky District of Russia, is the deepest artificial point in the world.