Whether it's politics, crime, or sporting riots, there are many examples of cities across the world tearing themselves apart over something or other. But every now and then, Mother Nature steps up to show us humans how it is really done!
This is the case for Staufen, a town in Germany, where the buildings are literally being pulled apart at the seams.
Over 8,000 people live in the township where more than 270 buildings have began to break down and start ripping themselves away from wall to wall. Fractures have been appearing up and down houses and apartment buildings where families live and wonder if their home will crumble over top of them.
There's even a campaign to save the town and boost morale of the citizens still living there. This sign reads: "Staufen must not fall apart!"
However, the reason for their apparent collapse is partly their own fault.
It turns out that Staufen wanted to be a part of a green energy project back in 2007. The plan was for a company to begin drilling for geothermal energy, and the region could use the hot gas to power their electrical services.
But as they were drilling, the machines hit large pockets of groundwater, causing layer upon layer of dirt to mix and expand outward, lifting up the earth above it and forcing buildings to shift in different directions.
“We’ve been in crisis mode for ten years,” says Mayor Michael Benitz. “It’s a slow-motion catastrophe."
A mediation committee was formed after the growing damage became apparent. More than 400 claims have been filed with various levels of severity.
Two houses have already been intentionally demolished to prevent them from falling down accidentally, and there's a good chance more will follow suit.
The drilling company reached an out-of-court settlement with the municipal government for a total of $1.4 million.
No one knows just how bad the damage will get, or if they will ever feel safe in their homes again.