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Thread: 7 Underground Wonders of the World

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    Silver Member Doctora Pepper's Avatar
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    Default 7 Underground Wonders of the World

    7 Underground Wonders of the World: Labyrinths, Crypts, Catacombs and More

    What motivates humankind to burrow deep into the Earth? From London to Paris, Budapest to Moscow, the USA to Australia, here are seven of the most amazing examples in the world. Some were built for military defense or shelter, many are abandoned while others thrive. These amazing images feature tunnels, caverns, labyrinths from seven underground location around the world, following the acclaimed 7 Underwater Wonders and 7 Abandoned Wonders of the World from our 7 Wonders Series.



    Paris, France: There are extensive networks of catacombs, quarries and other tunnels running under the capital of France. Some of these amazing photographs were taken by urban explorers who lit the scenes with candles, producing remarkable image effects. The other images show the work of Paris General of Police from the late 18th Century, when disease led the city to bury bones underground in unused quarries rather than risk further infection of the population.




    Moscow, Russia: This particular photographer is uniquely privileged, as an official government photographer, to take rare looks and snapshots of the myriad tunnels of all kinds running underneath Moscow. Clearly he does a great deal of post-production work, giving these images an air of surreality. Still, they are incredibly impressive and show a compelling range of locations.


    London, England: The West Norwood Cemetery has a remarkable collection of historic monuments. Even more fascinating, however, are the catacombs below the chapel on site. As these images show, there is a remarkable collection of coffins in spaces of various sizes. The mahogany coffins have largely survived the test of time, while the pine ones have not fared quite as well. All in all, a beautiful collection, and largely left to wear naturally with time.


    Ozarks, Midwest: The Ozark mountain range is filled with caverns and mines that date back generations. They are perhaps most famous for being the site where Radium was discovered shortly after radioactive elements were beginning to be understood in Europe. These more recent explorers featured here have certainly shown dedication, bringing along a raft to use flooded areas.



    Budapest, Hungary: A labyrinth of caves and tunnels span for miles under Castle Hill. These are believed to date back many centuries and to have been created for military purposes, and were more recently used as an air-raid shelter during World War II. Visitors are now allowed on two kinds of tours: a flashlight tour and fully lit tour. The aged walls and arches are something to behold. (Images via Dheera dot Net)

    Orlando, Florida: For a long time, mysteries circulated about tunnels underneath the so-called Magic Kingdom. As it turns out, the rumors were true: Disney World has an extensive system of underground passages used my employees to travel quickly and discreetly from place to place. These highly private tunnels are large enough to accommodate vehicles as well as pedestrians, and connect a series of offices, kitchens, cafeterias, storage and break rooms, which all lurk below the glittering facade of the world’s most famous theme park.

    Coober Pedy, Australia: This small town in the middle of nowhere, Australia, is home to some of the strangest houses on Earth. A combination of climactic conditions and the existence of opal mining in the region have literally driven the residents underground. Everything from residences to churches are carved out of the ground as the above images show. The place is something of a tourist attraction, with underground hotels as well as a golf course above ground – though golf is played at night due to the regional heat!


    7 Underground Wonders of the World: Labyrinths, Crypts and More | Design + Ideas on WU

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    Silver Member Doctora Pepper's Avatar
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    And another one (I didn't want to make 2 threads, sorry that this one is so photo-heavy).
    7 (More!) Underground Wonders of the World: Lost Caverns and Buried Cities


    By Urbanist in 7 Wonders Series, Architecture & Design


    The world is full of wonders, from abandoned towns and deserted settlements to underwater cities and underground architecture. Humans burrow into the Earth out of anything from necessity to superstition, driven by coincidence or coerced by circumstance. Without further ado, here are seven more underground wonders of the world.




    Kapadokya, Turkey is home to hundreds of linked rooms that, together, form an ancient system of underground cities over 2,500 years old. Areas are separated by narrow corridors lit once lit by oil lamps as well as other architectural devices for maximizing the defensibility of the spaces. Settlement initially started on the surface, then slowly moved underground over time.


    Pembrokeshire, Wales is home to a family with a house straight out of The Hobbit. This amazing architectural wonder is created virtually completely from the natural materials found around the residence. The walls are made out of stone and mud and water enters the house by gravity from a nearby spring. Non-natural materials, such as windows and plumbing, were recovered from trash.




    Edinburgh, Scotland has a long and strange history, though perhaps the oddest story of all is the tale of a bridge that was buried underground. After this bridge was built, superstition following a prominent death led to its disuse. As property values in the area grew, however, people first built under and then even on top of the bridge. Eventually leaks forced the abandonment of the spaces below, which were subsequently filled in. They were recently rediscovered and opened for tourists!



    Tokyo, Japan is at the heart of a strange and gripping mystery involving seven riddles and a supposed secret underground city. It all began when Japanese researcher Shun Akiba found an old map of the Tokyo tunnel system that didn’t match current maps. Since then, he has found six other strange inconsistencies in historical maps and other records that suggest the existence hidden spaces. His claims have been vehemently denied by the Japanese government.




    Seattle, Washington’s Pioneer Square district has a very peculiar historical quirk: a century ago, they raised the streets by an entire floor. People actually died falling off of the street to the lower sidewalks below before they managed to raise the sidewalks to the same level. Eventually, what was street level became completely unused and abandoned, though it was recently reopened for visitors.




    Wieliczka, Poland sits atop one of the world’s oldest salt mines, in continuous operation for over 800 years until just this year. As these images show, the mine is now open to tourists, with winding paths and bridges as well as art, much of which is carved right out of the salt in the mine. Over 1,000 feet deep, the mine even housed an airplane factory run by the Polish resistance during the 2nd World War.


    Xi’an, China is now famous for featuring the Mausoleum of Qinshihuang, the biggest imperial tomb known to Chinese history. This subterranean wonder was constructed in 38 years by 700,000 laborers, and is perhaps best known for the host of terracotta warriors buried with the Emporer. During the process numerous world-shocking relics were brought out, but this is just the tip of the iceberg, and more treasures remain buried in the underground palace.

    Bizarre Underground Conspiracy Theory – Honorable Mention:
    Denver, Colorado has an impressively large airport, and, some believe, an even more impressive series of underground tunnels. If they exist, these tunnels are (it is largely agreed) not home to aliens or fascists. A number of mysterious construction choices, murals and other objects have led some to theorize that such tunnels might be home to anything from a secret military base to a Masonic Temple.


    7 More Underground Wonders of the World | Design + Ideas on WU

    If you like this stuff, you should check out Cities of the Underworld: Cities Of The Underworld - Full Episodes and Clips streaming online for free - Hulu

    It's kind of speculative at times, and very sensationalistic, but it's entertaining.

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    Hit By Ban Bus! rockchick's Avatar
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    amazing! i enjoyed these, thx for posting them

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    Elite Member Dean James's Avatar
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    Very cool.
    Baby, by the time you have kids and they're in school, no one will care about you.

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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    I haz a dirty mind...


    I've been down White Scar Caves (Yorkshire Dales) and that was a pretty amazing experience as well doing the waterfalls walk. Unfortunately I don't have any of the old photos that I took at the time, but these are some that I pulled off the web.









    The waterfalls walk nearby is pretty awesome too, but only if you are feeling fit and are good on your feet. I ached like a bitch the next day but it was worth it.





    ^^ You can (if you are careful) scramble around the edge to stand behind this waterfall.

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    Silver Member Doctora Pepper's Avatar
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    Nice pics, Kitty.

    I've been in caves a few times, but nothing too fantastic. The biggest one was in Texas when I was 10 or so with a tour group. I also walked through some in Iowa in a county park alone, but they were small, dark, and slippery.

    Recently I took my husband on his first cave visit, but it wasn't too spectacular. We paid 15 dollars each to go about 100 feet down and barely a quarter-mile long. I got some nice pictures out of it without having to use flash, though. I'd post pics, but I'm not sure how to upload them onto GR.

    Still, your cave takes the cake.

    Love your sig, by the way.
    Last edited by Doctora Pepper; May 26th, 2010 at 06:25 PM.

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    Elite Member OrangeSlice's Avatar
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    Wicked cool pictures. Thanks for sharing!
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    I'd love to live underground! White Scar Caves looks fab and I might try and visit one day

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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    ^^ You'd have to go in the summer time, and only after a spell of good weather (Brit posters will know that summer is no guarantee of dry weather lol) as they do tend to flood, and it can happen quite quickly. It's been years since I was there but I still remember it well. It really was an awesome day out.

    Can any Brit/Yorkshire posters help me out with something? I used to spend a lot of time in N. Yorks when I was with my ex and I've been to other places like Brimham Rocks, Whitby and Flamborough Head loads of times but there's one place (also with caves) that I can't remember the name of for the life of me. The name of it has Tom in it. That was a pretty cool place as well.

    And as I hit post it struck me - it's Cove Hole, also known as Tom Lee's Cave and it's in Grassington, North Yorks, and not far from Bolton Abbey, which is also well worth a visit for those who enjoy a long walk and water.

    Cove Hole [Fairy Cave, Tom Lee's Cave] Cave or Rock Shelter : The Megalithic Portal and Megalith Map:

    Bolton Abbey - Priory Ruins
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    How big would a T-Rex wang be?! - Karistiona


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    ^^^^It must have been packed last week during the heatwave!
    I can't imagine being in one of the caves as it flooded , stuff of nightmares.
    I remember being taken to a cave in Wales with school as a child but I refused to go down. You forget how beautiful parts of the UK really are

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    Gold Member frazzled's Avatar
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    I would love to visit those Catacombs.
    I saw a film today, oh boy.

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    Some of those places would be really cool to explore. Although I'm not surprised Disney World has underground tunnels. The employees probably need to feel like they can make a quick escape to freedom from the evil empire.

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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DolceVita View Post
    ^^^^It must have been packed last week during the heatwave!
    I can't imagine being in one of the caves as it flooded , stuff of nightmares.
    I remember being taken to a cave in Wales with school as a child but I refused to go down. You forget how beautiful parts of the UK really are

    Yeah, and really I think we Brits need to remember how many great places we have to visit. I've done a bit of travelling while going to bike rallies and spent a lot of time in Yorkshire while I was in my long distance relationship and there are some fantastic places to visit. Like Flamborough Head - if you go there at the right time of years it is full of puffins, and Scarborough may be a bit cheesy (for my tastes) but if you are willing to do a bit of walking you can visit Charlotte Bronte's grave. I love visiting these types of places and really miss travelling about.

    *holds out hand waiting for promotional payment from the Yorkshire tourist board, lol*
    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me. Hunter S Thompson

    How big would a T-Rex wang be?! - Karistiona


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