Monday, July 18, 2011

An underground city

Coober Pedy is a small city in Australia, with a population of about 3.500 citizens. It is famous for two reasons. The first and important reason is the production of opal, a type of precious rock found in abundance in the region. The mining area is responsible for 70% of the global production of opal. 

The second reason why this city is famous is the fact that its citizens live underground. It is a habit that began in the beginning of the 20th century when the first miners who settled there lived in mines and caves in order to avoid the extreme summer temperatures of the Australian desert. 

Today this situation has become a way of life for many of them who live permanently in the city. Temperatures normally reach 40 degrees Celsius, whilst the highest temperature recorded is 47 degrees Celsius. This is the main reason why the underground houses have become more and more popular, where conditions are more stable. 

These are constructed by specific companies in undertaking the underground homes and the cost is similar to that of building a normal (overground) house. There are also several museums, shops, churches and hotels, all located underground.   

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