The Residents Of This Town Live Most Of Their Lives Underground

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The Residents Of This Town Live Most Of Their Lives Underground

Smithsonian Magazine

How you choose to live your life, and where you choose to live it, are completely up to you (for the most part). Society has gotten used to living in suburban or city conditions, with nice homes and apartments made from wood and steel. But that doesn't mean that people in other places haven't chosen to head off the beaten path and live differently. That is exactly what the residents of Coober Pedy, Australia have chosen to do.

Smithsonian Magazine

The town of Coober Pedy is unique. Located in the southern Australian outback, the town which is famous for the opals that the region produces, is something out of a dystopian novel. Half of its residents reside underground in handcrafted homes that have been built over years.


Even if you have never heard of the town before, there is a good chance that you have seen its landscape even if you didn't know it before. The 1985 Mel Gibson movie, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was shot using the town as its primary backdrop. The movie showed the town's above ground appearance, but what's underneath is far more impressive.

"Somebody driving into town for the first time, wouldn't think there was a lot here," says one town resident, and he isn't wrong. It can take over a day to drive to Coober Pedy from the closest modern settlement, over 500 miles.

There is a pretty good reason why a lot of residents choose to live underground as opposed to on the surface. For one, the conditions underground are far more comfortable. During the peak of the hot season, temperatures around Coober Pedy can hit 113 degrees... in the shade. Where as the temperature in the underground city usually hovers around 71 degrees.

Choice Hotels

They have built anything you could possibly want under there. They have a hotel, homes, churches, stores, recreational areas, you name it, they have it. But is there a sacrifice to living under the Earth's surface? For you and I, probably, but not for the people who call this subterranean oasis home.  


Would you be able to live your life underground, even if the accommodations were as nice as these?