UK and Oz to be linked by tunnel

Journeying between the UK and Australia is about to become considerably quicker as plans to build a tunnel through the centre of the Earth have today been given the final go ahead.

The remarkably ambitious project is the brainchild of Sir Richard Branson, who will be financing the tunnel as a joint venture with the British and Australian governments.

Few details have emerged regarding cost, but experts are predicting the final budget will be in the quadrillions (that’s the one after trillion).

Questions were immediately raised about the practicality of digging through the hot core in the centre of the planet, but leading scientists were on hand to explain. Speaking to the BBC, geologist Randy So’enso said:

“Contrary to popular belief, the core of our planet isn’t actually that hot. You wouldn’t last long if you were exposed to it without protection, but with the technological advances we’ve achieved in the last few decades, it’s not at all unfeasible to construct safety measures against it.”

An artist's impression of what the entrance to the tunnel might look like

The science behind the new route is, like all the best ideas, beautifully simple. For the journey to the centre of the Earth you will simply have to rely on gravity. People will literally jump into the hole. However, once you’ve reached the middle, you will be in a zero-gravity environment. Think about it: you couldn’t carry on falling to Australia, because that would mean falling out of a hole to arrive.

So, the second part of the journey will mean getting into a rocket powered capsule, which will raise you safely to the other side. The whole journey will take approximately three hours, which is a significant improvement on the 24 hours it currently takes to get down under.

Work on the tunnel is expected to begin in 2015.