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What life in underground town Coober Pedy looks like

Why Did This Town Go Underground?

Faced with unberable heat, the citizens of Coober Pedy in South Australia decided to escape by making a dramatic move ... underground.

Founded in 1915, this desert town is home to miles of hidden underground tunnels, dug out by miners searching for precious stones -- opals to be exact. Over the years they found so many, the town earned the nickname the "Opal Capital of the World."

With temperatures above ground reaching 125 degrees, the residents decided the unused portions of the mines would make for much more comfortable dwellings.

Called "dug outs," this vast tunnel system holds almost 1,500 houses, with about 2,000 people residing there.

But don't assume living here will turn you into a mole: these tunnel homes include bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms.

Want to learn more about this cool town (or maybe even visit)? Check out the official site.

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Join the discussion

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James July 11 2014 at 7:21 AM

Now that's what I call "down under"!

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1 reply
boardsrbetter James July 12 2014 at 10:59 AM

The cave hotel looks Bad Ass. No other words for it....

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onionson July 12 2014 at 5:34 AM

I wish they had given more information. Knowing it hits 125 above ground is nice but what is the temp underground? How deep does it go? Not much info given for such a unique place.

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2 replies
dal onionson July 12 2014 at 6:17 AM

it stays around 72 degrees year round in the caves.

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1 reply
onionson dal July 12 2014 at 2:13 PM

No, caves in The Ozarks are about 58 degrees and the Cave of Crystals some 300 feet down is at 136 degrees. Most have a fairly constant temperature depending on depth but there are enough variances to make it noteworthy in an article about a huge populated one.

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schlauger1 onionson July 12 2014 at 10:32 AM

There's an official web site for the place at the end of the article.

Personally, I hope these people make some good money off of the opals. Although the places underground look nice, I'd go stark raving claustrophobic.

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1 reply
onionson schlauger1 July 12 2014 at 2:16 PM

Thanks for the tip Einstein. There is an official website for many of AOL's deficient articles and I should not have to go there to look for the basic information that should be supplied in an article like this.

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silkroadg July 12 2014 at 11:12 AM

This is the PERFECT PLACE for all the ENVIROFACSISTS!!! We can send the tree huggers, global warmists, and the entire EVIRONMENTAL RELIGION along with their POPE AND KING, Mr. Obama to Coober Pedy!!!

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4 replies
thorrsman July 12 2014 at 5:37 AM

Hobbiton down under.

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dal July 12 2014 at 6:18 AM

I would love to live like that then when I die all they need do is pour cement down the hole.

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moradadavislodi July 12 2014 at 10:49 AM

When we were there, we were told that the name Coober Pedy translates to white man in a hole -- the name given the town by the locals. The Cave Hotel is beautiful.

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no1hounddog2u July 12 2014 at 9:00 AM

Looks like the Future of the world. A big pice of the puzzle solved for global warming.

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1 reply
onionson no1hounddog2u July 12 2014 at 2:19 PM

If Global Warming comes true and melts enough ice I'd find some place other than a hole to hide in.

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1 reply
no1hounddog2u onionson July 12 2014 at 4:42 PM

Well I'm glad I'm old enough not to have to worry about that. On the bright side I don't have any kids either to worry about. We're supposed to be human beings in life but all we are is the most distractive animals of this planet. We know that global warning is a problem. But all were doing is baby steps and a full-blown marathon that needs be run today to fix this problem.

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jmpear.j July 12 2014 at 8:39 AM

And then when someone dies they have to drag them above ground and dig a hole.

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Shelley July 12 2014 at 8:36 AM

it is pronounced PEEDY not Peddy. when will these reporters do proper research. wish i were a tweeter, i would tweet matt sampson and slap his wrist !
as an australian, i hear these mistakes all the time and it can become quite irritating.

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2 replies
onionson Shelley July 12 2014 at 2:23 PM

Well, guess what we do when you or your reporters come here and pronounce some of our words. We understand, laugh, and buy the Aussie a beer.

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1 reply
sulandherb onionson July 12 2014 at 3:24 PM

that's only cuz them Aussies have such sexy accents ;)

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Carol Shelley July 12 2014 at 9:24 PM

Try to relax Shelley, lifes too short

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Susan July 12 2014 at 6:25 AM

The guy on the video pronounced the name of the town incorrectly. It is pronounced with a long E on the word Pedy,

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1 reply
Shelley Susan July 12 2014 at 9:22 AM

Susan - doesn't it jusy annoy you? It's like when they say emoo instead of emyou for EMU . Yikes !!!!!!

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