Pedy

Inside Coober Pedy, the Australian mining town where residents live, shop, and worship underground

Residents have turned the old opal mines into makeshift homes to escape the oppressive​ heat.
Residents have turned the old opal mines into makeshift homes to escape the oppressive​ heat.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

In the middle of the Australian Outback, there’s a town where chimneys rise from the sand and big red signs warn people of “unmarked holes.”

Welcome to Coober Pedy, the town that lives underground.

What began in 1916 as perhaps the largest opal mining operation in the world has since expanded into a subterranean community that is safely out of reach from the region’s 120-degree summers.

Entire bedrooms, bookstores, churches, and bars are installed in the carved underground walls of Coober

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