Berlin Is Threatened From Below By Its Rising Water Table

While the American West stumbles forward into an already dangerous drought—and it's barely even summer—Berliners are simply not using enough water. This means that the city's water table is now on the rise, and it's beginning to threaten the city's buildings from below. Some basements have already been affected. » 4/13/14 5:00pm 4/13/14 5:00pm

How Huge Subterranean Grids Could Protect Cities From Earthquakes

French engineers have been experimenting with a technique that could redirect seismic energy away from structures such as cities, dams, and nuclear power plants, sparing them from damage. It involves digging large, cylindrical boreholes into the ground, forming a defensive geometry of lace-like arrays that, researchers … » 4/08/14 6:00pm 4/08/14 6:00pm

The New Budapest Metro Line Is an Awesome Psychedelic Trip

After ten years of extremely expensive, slow, and politically messed up construction work–it is a long and sad story of government corruption and incompetence–Budapest, the Hungarian capital, got its fourth metro line today. Despite its ill-fated genesis and controversial usefulness, the Metro 4 is an amazing… » 3/28/14 3:40pm 3/28/14 3:40pm

Explore More Than 3,000 Miles of Tunnels Beneath Montreal

Andrew Emond, a Montreal-based photographer, amateur geographer, and DIY gonzo spelunker of the city's sewers and lost rivers, has just re-launched his excellent website, Under Montreal. The revamped site now comes complete with a fascinating, interactive map of the city's subterranean streams, documenting Montreal's… » 3/04/14 4:20pm 3/04/14 4:20pm

I stumbled on this photo while writing last night's post about the East Side Access Project in New York and just couldn't resist: like some underground rail gun or a particle accelerator whirring to life, this is part of the Second Avenue Subway, the so-called "86th Street Cavern," a subterranean wonder that will soon be … » 2/19/14 11:19am 2/19/14 11:19am

A Colossal Yellow Cave Taking Shape Beneath Manhattan

NYC's East Side Access Project continues apace, and these recent images, taken last month by MTA photographer Rehema Trimiew, show a whole new view of the mind-boggling underground caverns now being constructed beneath Manhattan. From raw walls of exposed geology to this, the space is finally taking on the look and… » 2/18/14 5:20pm 2/18/14 5:20pm

London's Newest Farm Is an Abandoned Bomb Shelter Deep Beneath the City

What do you do with a bomb shelter when you're no longer getting Blitzed by the Nazis? For decades, Londoners have searched for ways to make use of old bomb shelters lurking deep underground. They've become data centers, dusty storage rooms, and, now, the first underground urban farm—thanks to a couple of foodie… » 2/04/14 11:00am 2/04/14 11:00am

The U.S./Mexico Border Is Infested With Underground Machines

The very fact that underground robots being used to patrol the U.S./Mexico border—a program now moving into its second decade—can be greeted with what amounts to a disinterested shrug is a good indication of how sci-fi our everyday lives have gotten. There are underground robots patrolling the edge of the country. » 1/21/14 4:25pm 1/21/14 4:25pm

8 Massive Tunnels Being Built Right Now Under A City Near You

Now that we know it was an eight-inch steel pipe that brought the world's largest-diameter tunneling machine to a halt up in Seattle, we can no longer fantasize about Bertha unearthing a five-story-tall buried locomotive. But we can look at something almost as fascinating: The other giant holes that are currently being … » 1/07/14 9:20am 1/07/14 9:20am

How Corpses Helped Shape the London Underground

As Mexico City archaeologists sort through the surreal array of Aztec sacrificial skulls recently uncovered while excavating their city's subway system, it's worth remembering that parts of the London Underground were also tunneled, blasted, picked, and drilled through a labyrinth of plague pits and cemeteries. » 1/02/14 7:00pm 1/02/14 7:00pm

Watch the MTA Assemble a Prismatic Tunnel To The Sky

The Fulton Street Transit Center currently being built in the Financial District of Manhattan is shaping up to be not only the biggest place to catch a train in the five boroughs, but also the coolest. Where normally you'd expect the MTA to build tunnels through the ground, at Fulton Street they've assembled one to the … » 12/17/13 4:00pm 12/17/13 4:00pm

Terrifying Facts About the World's Deepest Gold Mine

Oh, the things humans will do to get their grubby hands on gold—a metal mostly prized for its ornamental use, hoarded in bank vaults and jewelry boxes, though we've arbitrarily decided it's worth, uh, its weight in gold.* The deepest gold mine in the world is Mponeng, a 2.5-mile hole in the ground in South Africa. A… » 12/16/13 3:20pm 12/16/13 3:20pm