OK, so maybe they’re not going to use drilling plans from the 1800’s, but they did make a serious announcement that they will try to drill through the Earth’s crust to reach the mantle, which has never been done before. Depending on where they drill, whether at the bottom of an ocean or on dry land, they will have to drill through somewhere between 3 miles and 30 miles of crust (Wikipedia). From PhysOrg:
And if that doesn’t sound hard enough, temperatures increase the farther down you go, and could reach as high as 570 degrees Fahrenheit; high enough to render useless most modern drill bits. Last but not least is the problem of atmospheric pressure, which increases the deeper you go, to somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 million pounds per square foot near the mantle.
One of my guidelines for posting news is that something has to actually occur, be it a practical breakthrough in cancer research or landing on the moon. Lots of people make announcements about mere plans, and this may be one of them, but even if it never happens, it’s ludicrous enough to still be entertaining.