The Town So Hot, That Most People Live Underground

Coober Pedy, Australia - Jan. 2015
Coober Pedy, in South Australia is a mining town, known as the "Opal Capital of the World". It also has the distinction of being so incredibly hot in the summer that 60% of the town lives underground in dwellings known as "dugouts." These dugouts are built using the same mining machinery that digs the local opal mines. Some people have even found opals while building additions onto their homes.
The benefit of living underground is that these dwellings are relatively inexpensive to build, plus they requite no heating or air conditioning.
From December to February, the weather warms up and summer temperatures range from 35 °C (95 °F) in the shade, with occasional dust storms. The annual rainfall in the area is amongst the lowest in Australia, at around 130 millimeters (5.1 in) per year.
The town is in a very barren & desolate area of Australia, and the town has attracted movie producers, with parts of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Pitch Black having been filmed in the area.


A spaceship prop from one of the science fiction movies filmed at Coober Pedy (I believe this is from one of the Riddick movies)
The Serbian Orthodox Church in Coober Pedy. The church is built right into the side of a hill.


Inside the church. You can see the tunnel boring marks from the machinery that carved out the church from the surrounding rock.
Delivering my sermon to an empty underground church in Coober Pedy, Australia.


Coober Pedy is the "Opal capital of the World" Here's an example of a huge opal that was shown to me by one of the jewelers in town.
Close to a million dollars' worth of high quality opals.

A residential "dugout" home. Over half the homes in Coober Pedy are built underground.