The legend holds that in 1989, some Russian scientists of Kola Peninsula (Russia) had drilled a hole that was nine miles (14.5 km) deep before breaking through to a cavity. Intrigued by this unexpected discovery, they lowered an extremely heat tolerant microphone, along with other sensory equipment, into the well. The temperature deep within was 2,000 °F (1,100 °C) — heat from a chamber of fire from which (purportedly) the tormented screams of the damned could be heard. The recording, however, was later revealed to have been a cleverly remixed portion of the soundtrack of the 1972 movie Baron Blood, with various effects added.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole is the result of a scientific drilling project of the Soviet Union on the Kola Peninsula. The project attempted to drill as deep as possible into the Earth's crust. Drilling began on 24 May 1970 using the Uralmash-4E, and later the Uralmash-15000 series drilling rig. A number of boreholes were drilled by branching from a central hole. The deepest, SG-3, reached 12,262 metres (40,230 ft) (12.26 km, 7.62 mi., 2.21 leagues) in 1989, and is the deepest hole ever drilled, and the deepest artificial point on Earth