Sunday, June 15, 2008

Moscow's Diggers of the Underground Planet

Once again, I've found proof that I don't know everything. (I'm sure you're as shocked as I am.) At first it was only an intriguing name: Diggers of the Underground Planet. But all it took was one google search to know I was on to something good . . . very good.

The Diggers are a group founded by eccentric Russian explorer Vadim Mikhailov (shown below). For the past few decades, they've had a single mission: Exploring the thousands of miles of tunnels underneath Moscow. That's right. The capitol of Russia has its own enormous Shadow City comprised of ancient passages, hidden rooms, sewer tunnels, underground rivers and subway lines. According to Mikhailov, in some parts of the city, the underground is more than 15 layers and 700 meters deep. And it's not empty. Thousands of homeless people, criminals, and vagabonds call the tunnels home--and those numbers tend to soar during the cruel Moscow winters.

Despite the ever-present dangers of toxic sludge and hoodlums, the Diggers have managed to make some jaw-dropping discoveries, including . . .

1. Over 500 pounds of radioactive material under Moscow State University.
2. A legendary underground pool that was used for mass suicides as far back as the eighteenth century.
3. Stalin's private subway system, which was built to carry important citizens out of Moscow in an emergency.
4. (According to one account) Tsar Ivan the Terrible's secret torture chamber.

But the biggest prize remains undiscovered: Ivan the Terrible's lost library, which is said to be hidden somewhere under the Kremlin and is filled with priceless Byzantine and Hebrew scrolls.

Read more about the Diggers and their discoveries here.


Anonymous K.T. ninja said...

that is so extrememly awesome! I can just see the irregulars hunting down Ivan the Terrible's lost library.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Patsee said...

Wow. That's pretty amazing.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. wihs all of us could find the library.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

An underground library!? OoO That sounds interesting!

2:16 PM  
Blogger liltomboyblue11;) said...

that is so cool!! i love weird stuff, and in russia, too!!! very exciting. i have heard of underground tunnels beneath an ashevile college. also, i am going to NY soon and into the grenich (spelling?) village area. any recommendations for places to go?

4:04 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

We really need to start digging our own city, here in New York. Anyone want to join?

4:17 PM  
Anonymous sekrit7 said...

That. Is. Amazing.
I love it!

4:58 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City said...

Liltomboyblue: Are you my old friend in Asheville--or a new one? Let me think about recommendations for Greenwich Village, and I'll leave some here. (There are TONS of things to see here.) In fact you could visit a few of your fellow blog commentators. ;)

4:59 PM  
Anonymous sekrit7 said...

Our community newspaper has really cheap ads, that you can buy and they publish every single one! So I am putting in an ad about how I was a fishbowl that's about the size and shape of a guitar or duck! I can't wait till it gets published, it'll be so funny! But what if someone really has one! ? )

5:00 PM  
Anonymous konakona said...

Let's all start digging and hope we find more mysteries of this world...

5:24 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

sekrit7: ROFL. I'd love to see that - please scan the page and post a link or something!!

liltomboyblue11: You could visit me!! :D (it's Greenwich, as in Greenwich mean time.) Ananka, Kirsten, and I (and maybe some other Irregulars? I'm not sure where they live!) all live around here.

Although I've never had time to do so, (pathetic, I know...hopefully this summer, when I won't be whisked away to some random country, although I will be going to chem camp) there's a list of hidden houses in the Village alone somewhere in the first Kiki Strike book that you could see.

And even though they're renovating the park (GRR), stop by there and feed the pidgeons :D
I'm thinking about busking around there or something as a joke xD lol.
Anyway, have fun in NY!

5:44 PM  
Anonymous leximel said...

I used to have a russian babysitter. She called me Sashenka.
And I spoke to her in Russian, even though I was only two.

And guess what! I was in Milan in Italy yesterday and I saw a copy of Kiki Strike in Italian!!!!!!!!
I wanted to buy it very badly, but we had to fly home. And you know my mother said New York (city) is better than Milan?

Kirsten, could you come to Philly? It is only two hours from NYC by car. It is much fun to eat cheesesteaks in and make fun of the fake colonial people.

7:30 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City said...

Leximel: You lead a very interesting life. And your mother is a wise woman. But I do love the food in Milan. (And their choice of reading material!)

Yes, with my next book, I will make a point of coming down to Philly, which is also a pretty cool city in my humble opinion!

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should also make a point of coming to VT.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Random Irregular said...

I wish I'd known about thhis a month or so before. This would've been really cool for my personal project.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Irregular Kiki said...

It would be so cool if that was our job! Lets all MAKE an underground city! hehe. First I'd like to discover one.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Cupcakedoll said...

A lost library! That's like Indiana Jones meets... me!

I was just reading a forensic book that mentioned the folks who went to Russia to check out the bodies of the Tzar and his family. They could not find the bones of Anastasia, and the Russian officials were quite annoyed when they put that in their report! The forensics folks were then kicked out of Russia.

3:27 AM  
Blogger liltomboyblue11;) said...

i think i'm a new friend, but do you know someone named Kora? thank-you so much, and it would be fun to meet more irregulars!!! i know to few at the moment.

9:01 AM  
Blogger liltomboyblue11;) said...

P.S. thank-you everyone, i'm sure it will be really fun. i'm going to be in NY for my B-day!!!! XD

9:04 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Some thoughts:
This sounds like something Verushka would have done!

Underground Moscow should be put on the "underworld maps" part of the website.

Speaking of the website, why isn't Iris on the "meet the irregulars" page yet?

Also, fat albino cockraoches would keep me out- I'm terrified of cockroaches. That's why Atlantis holds much more appeal for me!

A "next book"- yay!

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Maddie said...

hey, are there any underground cities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin? that would be awsome!@!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leximel you live in Philly?!?!

Awsome I live in Florida.

Ever heard of Vince Papole The football player?

I wish there would be a Shadow City in Miami!!!!

My sister says I'm random...

Who likes football?

4:14 PM  
Anonymous E.J.R. said...

wuh that is alsome . . .
i read the hole link page. . .
i just wish that there was a way to let him know that i surport his cause . . .
if i could i would like to become part of the diggers . . .

. . .WOW. . .and it is real

2:54 PM  
Anonymous ss (what about Betrayed?) chick said...

oh my god. that is amazing!!!! 0o0 like, seriously! i bit those numbers soar during the winter, talk about a good hiding place.

has anyone read the book Marked?

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes there are underground cities in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If youve ever been to the Downtown Milwaukee Library and visited the third world Milwaukee exhibit, then you'll somewhat know how the underground cities in Milwaukee Look. It's Huge down there. And now they have most of the entrances Locked up. Not too many people know about it anymore.

1:45 AM  

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