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Thread: The Australian Town Where People Live Underground

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    Cool The Australian Town Where People Live Underground

    The Australian Town Where People Live UndergroundIn one unusual outback town, everything is subterranean – from churches to campsites. As the world heads for 2.7C (4.9F) of global warming, should we be heading underground?


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    On the long road towards central Australia, as you travel 848km (527 miles) north from Adelaide’s coastal plains, is a scattering of enigmatic sand-pyramids. Around them, the landscape is utterly desolate – an endless expanse of salmon-pink dust, with the occasional determined shrub. But as you venture further along the highway, more of these mystery constructions emerge – piles of pale earth, haphazardly scattered like long-forgotten monuments. Every now and then, there is a white pipe sticking up from the ground next to one.

    These are the first signs of Coober Pedy, an opal mining town with a population of around 2,500 people. Many of its little peaks are the waste soil from decades of mining, but they are also evidence of another local specialty – underground living. In this corner of the world, 60% of the population inhabits homes built into the iron-rich sandstone and siltstone rock. In some neighbourhoods, the only signs of habitation are ventilation shafts sticking up, and the excess soil that has been dumped near entrances.

    In the winter, this troglodyte lifestyle may seem merely eccentric. But on a summer’s day, Coober Pedy – loosely translated from an indigenous Australian term that means “white man in a hole” – needs no explanation: it regularly hits 52C (126F), so hot that birds have been known to fall from the sky and electronics must be stored in fridges. The strategy seems more prescient than ever. In July 2023, the city of Chongquing, in southwest China, resorted to opening up air raid shelters built during WW2 – amid large-scale bombing from Japan – to shelter citizens from a very different threat: a 10-day streak of weather above 35C (95F). Others retreated to underground “cave hotpot” restaurants, which are popular in the city. As blistering heatwaves hit the US – with temperatures even cacti can’t handle – and wildfires incinerate swathes of southern Europe, what could we learn from Coober Pedy’s residents?


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    Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect. -- Woody Hayes​

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    Not a bad option even if you are not into Climate Doom.
    ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ


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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1469 View Post
    Not a bad option even if you are not into Climate Doom.

    There is extensive evidence of underground settlements of considerable size and sophistication Centuries before the Industrial Age.


    Climate always happens!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMNIXON View Post
    There is extensive evidence of underground settlements of considerable size and sophistication Centuries before the Industrial Age.


    Climate always happens!
    There are some from 10-12 thousand years ago.
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    Never Again!

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    Growing up, there were always a few of the homes in post 3 around.
    Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect. -- Woody Hayes​

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    Quote Originally Posted by DGUtley View Post
    Growing up, there were always a few of the homes in post 3 around.
    My wife and I almost bought an underground house near Carrollton years ago. In fact, we bid on it and lost.
    Never Again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DGUtley View Post
    Growing up, there were always a few of the homes in post 3 around.

    Post #3 might be ok, it's not totally underground.
    "LET'S GO BRANDON!"

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    I don't know about that, I'm claustrophobic, I need windows.
    "LET'S GO BRANDON!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abby08 View Post
    I don't know about that, I'm claustrophobic, I need windows.

    Need to vet them for Hamas hide-outs.
    Today we live. Tomorrow we die
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