“Faux Paris”, “Sham Paris”, a ‘shadow city’, a fake City of Light; in 1917-1918, French authorities secretly built a life-size replica of Paris in the northern outskirts to trick German bombers into destroying the dummy city rather than the real one.
In 1980, Lake Peigneu, Louisiana disappeared into an underground vortex of doom. Actually, the accident was due to a math error, which resulted in one of the strangest oil drilling and salt mining accidents in U.S. history.
The Diamond Salt company had a huge salt mining operation under the lake. Meanwhile, Texaco Oil was drilling for oil from shallow platforms, which were built on the lake. Texaco roughnecks set a new drill a few hundred feet down, through the lake, through the lake bed, and into the earth. The drill bit hit one of the salt mine shafts, and the above disaster happened.
Just when you think it couldn’t possibly get worse, it does. The entire lake was sucked into the mine. The drill hole was originally 14 inches, but the force of the water expanded it to hundreds of feet across. At one point, a reverse water fall of 150 feet was formed because the Gulf of Mexico drained backwards (north!) into the lake. Watch the event unfold disaster on top of disaster. It is incredible. Via BoingBoing.
Love this. Quora user tells it like it is.
Video of a water main break in Russia. The explosion sends asphalt into the air to rain down on parked cars and pedestrians.
Aging infrastructure and deferred maintenance are the bane of cities around the world - especially America. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the United State’s bridges, dams, airports, drinking water, roads, and schools a D+ in a recent report. Embarrassing? Absolutely. But cities are struggling to deal with an aging population and a lowered tax base. Schools, libraries, and park services are being cut (and gutted) all around the country. This means that cities are less likely to invest or fix problems with infrastructure, such as water supply. They can only react and look to the Feds for emergency cash. This mess we’re in will harm citizens in the long-term.
The black asphalt roads of urban centres are notorious for soaking up the sun, often helping make cities uncomfortably hot during the summer. However, special piping technology is offering a way to trap this heat and use it elsewhere, potentially transforming urban streets into giant solar collectors. More here.