In the outback of Australia there is a very unusual city, which today has already become a landmark. Coober Pedy, and that is how it is called, translates as “white man in a hole.” It was built underground. And the most interesting thing is that it is inhabited, although relatively few people live in it. For many, it is a mystery why they went into the desert, and even into the dungeon.
1. How it all began
Back in 1915, many wanted to find gold deposits, going in search of different parts of the world. Jim Hutchison with his son William and two other Australians were no exception. They headed for the area between Alice Springs and Adelaide. The precious metal was not found by them, but they found something else, no less valuable.
After they set up a tent camp, they began to look for water. It was then that William, who was then fourteen years old, found pieces of opal on the ground. The find did not go unnoticed and the men decided to continue the search.
Now there are approximately seventy deposits on the territory of about five thousand square kilometers. It is from these places that up to 70 percent of gems from the total production are mined. In this regard, Coober Pedy has another name – the disgraced capital, moreover, in a global format.
2. Population of Coober Pedy
The presence of many precious stones could not go unnoticed by those who wanted to earn money, so people from different parts of the world flocked here. Today, about 1800 people, representatives of 45 states, live in the city. Mostly they are citizens of European countries. Most of them settled underground to escape the heat. The fact is that in the summer season, even in the shade, the air temperature here reaches 35-45 degrees. Plus, sandstorms characteristic of this area. Therefore, an apartment in the underworld is comparable to paradise.
Firstly, the temperature regime is quite comfortable – 23-25 degrees. Secondly, there are no windows, which means there is no need for regular cleaning of the huge amount of dust and sand applied from the outside.
3. An underground city that has a campsite, restaurants and even a church
Tourists often come to Coober Pedy. Their main interest lies in visiting the underground part of the city, which has become a kind of landmark of these places, moreover, for a long time.
Initially, when arriving at a destination, a person does not see anything special. He has before his eyes a lot of rubble and sand and only a few residential buildings.
But going down underground, he will see a completely different picture – the real life of an average city. There are shops and restaurants, hotels of various categories, churches and camping. In other words, the infrastructure of the underground Coober Pedy is practically no different from that inherent in standard land-based cities.
4. The underground city is growing
One of the features of this area is the stability of the soil, which allows digging huge cavities. Accordingly, the settlement, which is quite unusual for us, continues to increase in size and expand.
People adapt to such living conditions as best they can. And the most interesting thing is that they are good at it. For example, on the golf course, they take small pieces of lawn with them in order to provide themselves with a hitting point. Otherwise, life here is comfortable and suits everyone.