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If natural resouces (natural gas, oil, and coal) are formed by extremepressure acting on material made mainly of carbon, why don't we sendlarge amounts of useless carbon based things to Venus where there is veryextreme surface pressure?

Coal, oil, and natural gas are often called "fossil fuels" because they come from things that lived on Earth millions of years ago (fossils!). When plants and animals, including dinosaurs, died, their bodies were buried beneath layers of Earth and squeezed together. After a very, very long time the plant and animal remains reacted with the Earth's heat and were transformed into fossil fuels. So, the next time your parents pull into the gas station, tell them to "Fill 'er up with Tyrannosaurus"!

Many people are concerned about finding new fuel sources since we will probably run out of fossil fuels in the future. But sending our dead plants and animals to Venus to make more fuel is probably not going to work. First, Venus doesn't have the tiny organisms we need to break down dead things--like worms and maggots!! Second, Venus is VERY hot! Our carcasses would probably burn before we could bury them! Third, it would cost a LOT of money to send dead stuff to Venus (and UPS does NOT deliver to Venus!). And finally, since burning fossil fuels pollutes our atmosphere, we're probably better off if we try to find energy sources that don't harm our environment, like wind and solar power.

However you're right about one thing, Venus's pressure is definitely "extreme"! In fact, its 90 times greater than on Earth--enough to crush a human being! If you wanted to experience a similar pressure on Earth, you'd have to go deep sea diving 3,000 feet below the ocean's surface. But if you're going to try it, be sure to travel in a pressurized submarine like Jacques Cousteau's "Nautilus", since no scuba diver would ever make it at this depth!

Submitted by Landon (Missouri, USA)
(September 19, 1997)

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