From the first drill site of the Deep Sea Drilling Project back in 1968, through cores recovered during the Ocean Drilling Program between 1985 and 2003, to the cores recovered on the JOIDES Resolution last week for the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, the combined ocean drilling programs have recovered more than 56,000 cores. That's a lot of rock and sediment. But, more importantly, these cores represent a treasure chest of scientific knowledge, filled with information about Earth's history, structure, and processes. All 56,000 cores have been tested, sampled, studied, examined, and dissected to get every possible ounce of scientific data out of them. Each core provides a key to unlock part of that giant treasure chest, and scientists who study the cores are continually finding new keys to see what the treasure chest will reveal next. The six cores listed below represent some of the most amazing discoveries in the history of the ocean drilling programs.

Click on the links below to view a picture of a core recovered on that Leg and a brief synopsis of the major discovery made from that core.

Leg 171, Hole 1049A, Core 17X, Section 2, 45-85 cm

Leg 158, Hole 957C, Core 11N, Section 1, 70-110 cm

Leg 183, Hole 1137A, Core 34R, Section 3, 60-110 cm

Leg 208, Hole 1263D, Core 4H, Section 1, 45-90 cm

Leg 165, Hole 1002C, Core 1H, Section 4, 40-115 cm

Leg 169, Hole 856H, Core 31R, Section 1, 87.5-135 cm