The Corpus Callosum

Project Mohole got underway in 1961, with undersea drilling off the
Pacific coast of Mexico.  The idea was to get geological core
samples from a bore hole, to learn about the nature of
the Mohorovicic
Discontinuity (the boundary between the earth’s crust and mantle).
 The Project ended in 1966. 

In 1971, our eight-grade science class was shown a film about Project
Mohole.  I
distinctly recall that the film talked about how promising the project
was, and how much we would learn from it. 

Now, I seek, and href="">find,
the truth, or at least one version of the truth.

“The project became known as the Mohole and
it was
pretty well disastrous. The hope was to lower a drill through 14,400
feet (4.5 km) of Pacific Ocean water off through relatively thin
crustal rock. Drilling from a ship in open waters is, in the words of
one oceanographer, “like trying to drill a hole in the sidewalks of New
York from top the Empire state Building using a strand of spagetti.”
Every attempt ended in failure. The deepest they penetrated was only
about 600 feet (200 m). The Mohole became known as No Hole. In 1966,
exasperated with ever-rising costs and no results, Congress killed the

Our science teacher never bothered to tell us that the “promising”
project was already a failure by the time we saw the film.  He
have used it to teach any number of reasonably good lessons, but did

I can’t blame the science teacher if the school did not have the budget
to keep an up-to-date film library.  However, I can’t help but
think of the ways he could have used this film to get students thinking
about science, or to get them interested in science.  Instead,
it was just “a bore.”

It is left as an exercise for the reader to figure out how this film
could have been used in an eight-grade science class, even though it
was outdated.


  1. #1 gengar
    June 26, 2006

    Actually, you’re mistaken that it was a complete failure – the MOHO project mutated into the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP), which in turn begat the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP – website at ), which recently mutated into the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP – ). In 300 cruises over the last 30 years they’ve sampled sediments and oceanic crust from all over the worlds oceans – admittedly less ambitious than drilling to the MOHO, but producing some pretty exciting science all the same (see or for two recent examples).

  2. #2 Louise
    June 26, 2006

    We know that Earth is divided into crust, mantle, outer and inner core because a woman scientist named Inge Lehmann studied the seismic waves created by earthquakes. By studying the arrival times at various seismographs, she deduced that waves are refracted by discontinuities in the interior. These waves have names like PKP and SKS. Project Mohole was named for the Mohorovicic discontinuity, a boundary between crust and mantle.
    The most obvious wave to detect should be PKIKP, a wave passing directly through Earth’s centre and out the other side. That wave has never been detected. Something sucks it up! That is a clue to something amazing in Earth’s core, something that predates the planet.

  3. #3 Ryan
    June 7, 2011

    I vaguely remember hearing about this or a similar project from when I was younger. It may seem unrelated at first, but this failure actually seems to further prove the trustworthiness of God’s promises and His love for His people (Jeremiah 31:37).

  4. #4 NJ
    June 7, 2011

    Ryan @ 3:

    Jeremiah 31:37

    In apparent reference to the phrase “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel”

    However, seeing as how we have measured the heavens via telescopic observation and we have explored the foundations via seismic wave observations, the only thing that Ryan seems to have proven is that he is far too stupid to be commenting on any topic beyond preschool coloring, let alone five year old posts on ScienceBlogs.

    Do feel free to come back, Ryan, upon such a time as a brain finds its way into your skull.

  5. #5 Pembe Maske
    June 14, 2011

    I vaguely remember hearing about this or a similar project from when I was younger. It may seem unrelated at first, but this failure actually seems to further prove the trustworthiness of God’s promises and His love for His people

  6. #6 nanomatik
    June 14, 2011

    I vaguely remember hearing about this or a similar project from when I was younger. It may seem unrelated at first, but this failure actually seems to further prove the trustworthiness of God’s promises and His love for His people

  7. #7 Carly
    July 4, 2011

    Monday morning once again and off to work i go. Wish i have the numbers for the euro lottery and win enough to retire for life. :) But with my luck, i have the wrong numbers. :(

  8. #8 Geri
    July 4, 2011

    Montag Morgen noch einmal und zur Arbeit gehe ich. Ich wünschte, ich habe die Zahlen für das Euro-Lotto und gewinnen Sie genug, um für das Leben in Rente gehen. :) Aber mit meinem Glück, habe ich die falschen Zahlen. : (

  9. #9 Harriet
    July 4, 2011

    Dé Luain maidin arís agus uaire a bheith ag obair i dul. Wish I have na huimhreacha ar an crannchur euro agus buaigh go leor chun dul ar scor ar feadh a saoil. :) Ach le mo luck, tá mé na huimhreacha mícheart. : (

  10. #10 Linus
    July 5, 2011

    Problem nad ydynt yn gallu mynd i’r toiled wedi cael ei glirio. Nawr bod y broblem yn cael ei gallu rhoi’r gorau i fynd. : ( .

  11. #11 Frank
    July 6, 2011

    Tá an aimsir go geal agus Mostly mar a chuaigh mé ar an obair. An réamhaisnéis chonaic mé roimh fhágáil as an obair a thaispeáint scamall báisteach mór teideal a chlúdach i gcás mé. Breathnaíonn mar tá mé ag dul abhaile sa bháisteach níos déanaí. :( .

  12. #12 Darren
    July 7, 2011

    Dylai’r gohebwyr papur newydd sy’n darnia ffonau pobl gael eu rhoi yn y carchar am 10 mlynedd. Hirach ar gyfer hacio y ffonau y rhai a oedd wedi dioddef trosedd neu eu colli rhywun. Mae galar a phoen y farwolaeth yn ddrwg, heb rywun hacio eich ffôn i gael rhywfaint o beth y gallant eu tro i mewn i stori newyddion.

  13. #13 Allison
    July 8, 2011

    An nuachtán “News of the World” atá dúnta. Na céadta chailleann a bpost mar faigheann an ceann ba chóir a chaill a post, post eile le seiceáil pá saille. Mar cheann an “News of the World” ba chóir di a bheith kicked amach agus go mbeadh na céadta employies go raibh aon rud a dhéanamh leis an scandle, tá fós a gcuid post. Wonder cad tá sí ag déanamh a fháil go le tarlú.

  14. #14 Tim
    July 19, 2011

    Ar ôl un diwrnod ar ddeg heb idiot o’r enw Sam, ei fod yn ôl yn y gwaith. Pan fydd y penaethiaid o gwmpas, ei fod yn frown ymyl flaen. Gwneud unrhyw esgus i fynd i mewn i’r ystafell ydynt mewn, fel pe dweud “edrych arna. Wyf yn gweithio”. Roedd ei agwedd at ffrindiau gwaith arall pan nad yw’r meistri yn cael eu gwmpas yn “Yr wyf yn well na chi”. Mae’n tynnu jôc ac mae’n ddoniol (yn ei feddwl). Ond os ydych yn tynnu yn jôc arno. Rydych yn yr isaf o’r holl ffurfiau bywyd ac efe yells ei ben i ffwrdd fel strancio bedair oed. Parc o fewn 6 troedfedd (2 fetr) ar ei gar smart ac rydych yn ei blocio.

  15. #15 Piers
    July 20, 2011

    Yksitoista päivää ilman idiootti nimeltä Sam, hän on takaisin töissä. Kun pomot ovat ympärillä, hän on ruskea käytettäviä mene. Making tekosyitä huoneeseen ne ovat, kuin sanoakseen “Katsokaa minua. Teen työtä”. Hänen asenteensa muihin työtoverit kun pomot eivät ole noin on “Olen parempi kuin sinä”. Hän vetää vitsi ja se on hauskaa (hänen mielessään). Mutta jos vedät vitsi hänelle. Olet alhaisin kaikki elämänmuodot ja huutaa päänsä pois kuin neljävuotiaana raivokohtauksen. Park sisällä 6 jalkaa (2 m) hänen älyautojärjestelmiä ja Estät häntä.

  16. #16 Matt
    July 21, 2011

    I wonder what it was like to live 20,000 years ago ? Working from dawn to dusk and making sure you gathered enough food to survive the winter. Times of plenty and times of hardship. How many of the people today, could survive back then ?

  17. #17 William
    July 22, 2011

    Mietin, millaista oli elää 20000 vuotta sitten? Työskentely aamusta iltaan ja tekee varmasti kerännyt tarpeeksi ruokaa hengissä talven. Times runsauden ja Vaikeina aikoina. Kuinka monet ihmiset tänään, voisi selviytyä silloin?

  18. #18 Chichi
    July 25, 2011

    Stellen Sie sich folgende Fragen. (1) In welchem ​​Teil der Vergangenheit würden Sie gerne leben? (2) Warum möchten Sie in dieser Zeit leben? (3) Können Sie in dieser Zeit nur mit den Werkzeugen und Geräten zur Verfügung zu jener Zeit überleben?

  19. #19 Roger
    July 26, 2011

    Fiafraigh duit féin na ceisteanna seo. (1) a bheadh ​​Cén chuid den am atá thart ar mhaith leat chun cónaí i? (2) Cén fáth ar mhaith leat chun cónaí ag an am sin? Níorbh fhéidir (3) leat maireachtáil san am sin ag baint úsáide as ach na huirlisí agus an trealamh atá ar fáil ag an am sin?

  20. #20 Ivan
    July 28, 2011

    Die Dächer sind aus unterschiedlichen Materialien hergestellt. Holz, Stroh, Schiefer, Stein, Metall, Kunststoff und alles andere, die verwendet werden können. Meistens hängt, wo Sie sind in der Welt und wie viel Sie kaufen können, um welche Art von Dach haben Sie.

  21. #21 Shaun
    July 29, 2011

    Toeau yn cael eu gwneud o ddeunyddiau gwahanol. Wood, gwellt, llechi, carreg, metel, plastig ac unrhyw beth arall y gellir ei ddefnyddio. Yn bennaf yn dibynnu ar ble rydych chi yn y byd a faint y gallwch ei brynu, o ran pa fath o do bydd gennych.

  22. #22 Gerrad
    August 1, 2011

    Where are we now on the evolution path ? Are we becoming civilized or still going down the path of increasing destructive powers ? Our medical knowledge increases with leaps and bounds of each war, but not as greatly as our destructive weapons.

  23. #23 Harriet
    August 1, 2011

    Ble rydyn ni nawr ar esblygiad y llwybr? A ydym yn dod yn wâr neu yn dal i fynd i lawr y llwybr o gynyddu pwerau dinistriol? Mae ein gwybodaeth feddygol yn cynyddu gyda nerth i nerth yn ystod pob rhyfel, ond nid mor fawr fel ein arfau dinistriol. Os yw ein gwybodaeth feddygol wedi cynyddu mor gyflym fel ein arfau, byddwn yn gallu byw am ddwy neu fwy ganrif.

  24. #24 Connor
    August 2, 2011

    Biz təkamül yolu ilə, indi harada? Biz sivil olmaq və ya hələ də dağıdıcı səlahiyyətlərinin artırılması yolu enən edirsiniz? Bizim tibbi biliklərin hər bir müharibə leaps və həddi artır, lakin kimi çox kimi dağıdıcı hücum silahları. Bizim tibbi biliklərin bizim silah kimi sürətli kimi artmışdır, biz iki və ya daha çox əsrlər boyu canlı edə bilərsiniz.

  25. #25 Steph
    August 3, 2011

    Why do people starve to death in a world that produces more food than it needs ? On a web page it said it was due to logistics of moving the food. I say, it is more to do with profits than a lack of the ability to move the food to where it is needed. Also some third world countries are exporting food they need so they can get money for other things. If we all were even half way to what we call humanity, no one would starve. But we are humans and fail to live upto our good ideals.

  26. #26 Fitz
    August 4, 2011

    ¿Por qué las personas mueren de hambre en un mundo que produce más alimentos de lo que necesita? En una página web que dijo que era debido a la logística del traslado de la comida. Digo, es más que ver con los beneficios que la falta de la capacidad de mover la comida a donde más se necesita. Además, algunos países del tercer mundo son exportadores de alimentos que necesitan para que puedan conseguir el dinero para otras cosas. Si todos eran aún a medio camino de lo que llamamos humanidad, nadie moriría de hambre. Pero somos humanos y no pueden vivir hasta nuestros ideales bien.

  27. #27 Kyle
    August 8, 2011

    Was just reading about riots in London and other areas on the BBC web site. They should use rubber bullets, CS gas and pepper spray till the rioters are incapacitated. Then ship them to Afghanistan so they can learn how to behave.

  28. #28 Heather
    August 9, 2011

    Oli lihtsalt lugedes rahutused Londonis ja teistes piirkondades BBC veebilehel. Nad peaksid kasutama kummikuule, CS gaasi ja pipragaas Kuni märatsejate on töövõimetud. Siis saata need Afganistanis, et nad saaksid õppida, kuidas käituda.

  29. #29 Roger
    August 10, 2011

    Riots noch einmal reißen durch mehrere Städte von England. Viele Menschen werden wiederum für ihren Arbeitsplatz noch heute, um es zerstört oder noch schlimmer, vernichtet. Wie viele werden ihre Arbeitsplätze verlieren ihre Arbeitsstelle zerstört wurde? Bringen Sie in der Armee und eine nicht hält im Umgang mit den Aufständischen ausgeschlossen. Sie wollen andere durch das Werfen Ziegel und andere Dinge zu verletzen, so sollte die gleiche Gewalt zurück haben sie an.

  30. #30 ryan
    August 11, 2011

    Dear NJ @ comment #4,
    After reading today your comment to mine @ #3, I would agree that what we can see through telescopes is increasing as we reach farther and farther out into the universe, but we have yet to reach the end-points. Until then, I don’t think we can really say we’ve measured it. I don’t know much about science, or commenting on blogs for that matter. I would note that the crayon-rub colorings of leaves and stuff that I learned in pre-school were pretty cool though:)
    -Nevertheless, God’s Word still stands.
    I don’t mean to trample on this person’s blog, but I am convinced the issue is important, not only of knowing the trustworthiness of God’s promises but of His love for you. If you would like to discuss further, you may write me @

  31. #31 Michael
    August 12, 2011

    İngiltərə bir neçə şəhər vasitəsilə bir daha tear iğtişaşların. Bir çox qəzaya və ya pis məhv tapmaq üçün bu gün iş yeri üçün olur. Iş yeri məhv edilmişdir öz işlərini itirmək gedir necə daha çox? Hərbi gətirin və rioters münasibətdə barred A keçirilib var. Onlar atma kərpic və digər şeylər ilə BAŞQALARINA ZİYAN istəyirəm, onlar geri eyni zorakılıq olmalıdır.

  32. #32 Jade
    August 16, 2011

    Minun viimeinen viikko työtä hallituksen järjestelmää. Takaisin työttömyys jonoon ensi viikolla. Järjestelmä oli vain kolmetoista viikkoa ja joka päättyy neljässä päivässä. Ikävystyminen ja tuskin tarpeeksi rahaa elämiseen. :( .

  33. #33 Clyde
    August 17, 2011

    Nur noch zwei Tage nach diesem Tag der Arbeit auf die Regierung Schema. :( Dann wieder auf die Arbeitslosigkeit Warteschlange nächste Woche Dreizehn Wochen einen Job, und nur immer 45 Prozent des Mindestlohns für ihn und die Regierung fragt sich, warum das System ist nicht populär Wenn ich Mindestlohn bezahlt werden müsste ich! genoss es mehr und hatte etwas Geld gespart.

  34. #34 Mandy
    August 19, 2011

    Ich habe viele Websites in den letzten 13 Wochen zu besuchten mit meinem Job, also wurden langweilig und andere mistyfing. Haben gewinnen einige Kenntnisse. Wie, wenn in Japan ein paar Jahre zurück, i so nah an der Bambuswald in Kyoto kam. Das ärgerte mich, wie ich sie gerne zu besuchten sie haben.

  35. #35 Jack
    August 24, 2011

    Employers, employees and manufactures of equipment or supplies are responsible in some way for health and safety.

  36. #36 Richard
    August 30, 2011

    An elderly couple were having dinner one evening when the husband reached across the table, took his wife’s hand in his and said , “Clara, soon we
    will be married 50 years and there’s something I have to know. In all of these 50 years, have you ever been unfaithful to me?”
    Clara replied, “Well, Paul, I have to be honest with you. Yes, I’ve been unfaithful to you three times during these 50 years, but always for a good reason.”
    Paul was obviously hurt by his wife’s confession, but said, “I never suspected. Can you tell me what you mean by ‘good reasons?”
    Clara said, “The first time was shortly after we were married, and we were about to lose our little house because we couldn’t pay the mortgage. Do you remember that one evening I went to see the banker and the next day he notified you that the loan would be extended?”
    Paul recalled the visit to the banker and said, “I can forgive you for that. You saved our home, but what about the second time?”
    Clara asked, “And do you remember when you were so sick, but we didn’t have the money to pay for the heart surgery you needed? Well, I went to see your doctor one night and, if you recall, he did the surgery at no charge.”
    “I recall that,” said Paul. “And you did it to save my life, so of course I can forgive you for that. Now tell me about the third time.”
    “All right,” Clara said. “So do you remember when you ran for president of your golf club, and you needed 73 more votes?”

  37. #37 Jim
    September 1, 2011

    Doctor Dave had slept with one of his patients and felt guilty all day long.

    No matter how much he tried to forget about it, he couldn’t.

    The guilt and sense of betrayal was overwhelming. But every once in a while he’d hear an internal, reassuring voice that said:

    “Dave, don’t worry about it. You aren’t the first doctor to sleep with one of their patients and you won’t be the last. And you’re single. Just let it go..”

    But invariably the other voice would bring him back to reality, whispering:

    “Dave you’re a vet.”

  38. #38 Carly
    December 1, 2011

    Ah, drilling, drilling, drilling, such a boring job.

  39. #39 Paul
    January 16, 2012

    Yes, that sounds very interesting, but your telling this story to a man who cannot even drill a hole in his wall to put up a shelf.

  40. #40 Levi
    March 26, 2012

    Your comments are so subtle and sharp, they should come with a warning in case someone cuts themselves with your razor sharp wit.

  41. #41 Linus
    April 16, 2012

    I heard a scream, it came from a cave. But when I went to investigate, I found it was just a rave.

  42. #42 Levi
    May 1, 2012

    On the shelf was a load of CD’s, but the shelf itself was really only held up by elastic. The elastic was getting a little bit overstretched now, so when Bob put a cucumber on the shelf it was the straw that broke the camels back. The elastic gave a twang and hit Bob right in the eye as everything else hit the floor. Thats one in the eye for Bob.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.