Some futurologists predict the changing climate will force coming generations to live underground in earth-scrapers. It’s not so far-fetched, because there’s already a model for underground living in Coober Pedy, an Australian town in the Outback where residents escape the extreme conditions by dwelling under the dirt.
Before Mad Max: Fury Road, there was Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Mel Gibson and Tina Turner filmed the movie in the mining town of Coober Pedy back in the 1980s. Beneath the sun-scorched earth (the average high temperature in January is around 98 degrees Fahrenheit) is the legacy of the town’s opal-mining past, which started over a hundred years ago when a teenager found several of the precious stones. That legacy: dugouts, where residents can live at a comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit all year long, according to Smithsonian Magazine.
Coober Pedy has become a popular tourist destination, thanks to its unique attractions.
Where to stay
Though you can stay above ground, the Desert Cave Hotel has dugout rooms, as well as underground shops, a bar, and opal-viewing area.