Bizarre ant colony discovered in an abandoned Polish nuclear weapons bunker
Scientists describe workers trapped for years in "a hostile environment in total darkness."

For the past several years, a group of researchers has been observing a seemingly impossible wood ant colony living in an abandoned nuclear weapons bunker in Templewo, Poland, near the German border. Completely isolated from the outside world, these members of the species Formica polyctena have created an ant society unlike anything we’ve seen before.

The Soviets built the bunker during the Cold War to store nuclear weapons, sinking it below ground and planting trees on top as camouflage. Eventually a massive colony of wood ants took up residence in the soil over the bunker. There was just one problem: the ants built their nest directly over a vertical ventilation pipe. When the metal covering on the pipe finally rusted away, it left a dangerous, open hole. Every year when the nest expands, thousands of worker ants fall down the pipe and cannot climb back out. The survivors have nevertheless carried on for years underground, building a nest from soil and maintaining it in typical wood ant fashion. Except, of course, that this situation is far from normal.

Polish Academy of Sciences zoologist Wojciech Czechowski and his colleagues discovered the nest after a group of other zoologists found that bats were living in the bunker. Though it was technically not legal to go inside, the bat researchers figured out a way to squeeze into the small, confined space and observe the animals inside. Czechowski’s team followed suit when they heard that the place was swarming with ants. What they found, over two seasons of observation, was a group of almost a million worker ants whose lives are so strange that they hesitate to call them a “colony” in the observations they just published in The Journal of Hymenoptera.

Because conditions in the bunker are so harsh, constantly cold, and mostly barren, the ants seem to live in a state of near-starvation. They produce no queens, no males, and no offspring. The massive group tending the nest is entirely composed of non-reproductive female workers, supplemented every year by a new rain of unfortunate ants falling down the ventilation shaft.

Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 2016. DOI: 10.3897/jhr.51.9096

Project Greek Island, the secret bunker that was never used

In the late 1950s, the United States government approached The Greenbrier Hotel and sought its assistance in creating a secret emergency relocation center to house Congress in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. The classified, underground facility was built at the same time as the West Virginia Wing, an above-ground addition to the hotel, from 1959 to 1962.

For 30 years, The Greenbrier owners maintained an agreement with the federal government that, in the event of an international crisis, the entire resort property would be conveyed to government use, specifically as the emergency location for the legislative branch.

The facility was decommissioned in 1992 after the program was exposed in a U.S. newspaper article.


Old nuclear bunker turned into a Data Center.

Located in Stockholm, the ISP Bahnhof gained notoriety when it hosted wikileaks’ sensitive materials. Built into the Pionen mountains, the center took two years to retrofit the caves with enough space for their server racks and backup generators. In total, it is roughly 1,200 square meters (12,900 square feet) and will hold the future of blogging after the apocalypse.

Source: TheChive


Near Nottingham is the Cotgrave Royal Observer corps Nuclear observation bunker. It’s in a wood across a few fields and quite over grown. It’s open and burnt out long ago. Nothing is left inside but an old bedstead. Whilst the field surrounding were fill of growth someone had been there recently as you could see where they had walked. These old bunkers attract a lot of attention now - pre internet few knew of them at all. *Need to know* seems to sum it up.
The Verge: Condo at the End of the World

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this is The Verge!

Great feature piece by Joseph L. Flatley. This clearly demonstrates the power of the Verge’s platform and the writers behind it. Their “Forums” are also particularly powerful and (today) active.

We just have to see if people latch on to it. I’m afraid a lot of good content like this will be ignored with a simple tl;dr.


This Nuclear Bunker is at Pattingham , nr Wolverhampton. Having been abandoned about 1991 most of these are sealed, often with all the equipment inside. This one surprisingly was open, so taking my life in my hands I decided to venture down the shaft.

Down a deep narrow shaft , pitch dark and smelling damp I descended. Now this post was abandoned about 1991, they just left it as it was. The notice board in there still has the various things they had to measure like Blast and nuclear fall out. This is chilling, the place was tiny , more a tomb than a place of safety. The hatches and pipes above ground have hatches and opening here in the bunker for equipment that was used, they can be seen in the roof and walls. The hand pump and piping is at the base of the shaft to pump away water that could collect in a gully at the bottom of the stairs. It still moved.

There were still 70's style plastic chairs and papers strewn about, all the pictures only came out because of the flash on the camera, I had no torch. I used the flash to see what was there, only really finding out when I got home. This bunker was probably intact until quite recently, the graffiti was newish and the drinks can very new. 

I took these some while ago and went back here with my wife and a torch so she could look , but in the few weeks since I was there the hatch has been filled with wood and junk from the falling down shed nearby - it’s too far from anywhere to be vandals , I reckon it may have been the farmer to stop people going down and getting trapped or somesuch. A shame as we had looked forward to it .

Never mind - just being there was OK , earlier we’d been to one in Rugeley. We decided that when we went to Leeds the following day we’d look for some there.


In early May I visited Shepshed Royal Observer Corps Nuclear bunker, but forgot to post the pictures. Like many of these hidden bunkers it’s now overgrown, it’s located in bushes on the side of the road. In early May the brambles that grow all round hadn’t sprouted, now it will be unapproachable without a strimmer! 

Surprisingly in good condition outside with good paint I was delighted to find the hatch unlocked, but on opening a smooth layer of concrete was revealed, it’s been plugged. This is common, but I doubt the concrete fills the whole bunker. They possibly made a wooden block then put the concrete in. 

These Nuclear Bunkers were manned by the Royal Observer Corps in the cold war and they were only decommissioned in the early 90’s. I have visited many locally and some further afield, here are some links to the others I have seen.

This one I went to was open - sadly a month later it was blocked up:-

This one was open but burnt out;-


Visited Coleorton Nuclear Bunker, like many Royal Observer Corps Bunkers this was built at the site of an existing WW2 Anti Aircraft observation post. These posts were called Orlit posts , after a company that prefabricated concrete posts called Orlit. 

Someone has tried to break off the concrete cover , so this farmer has put a concrete manhole cover on top to seal it.

Beneath Trafford Town Hall

with photos by Andrew Brooks

If you’d ever looked closely enough at the shrubbery around Talbot Road you may just have uncovered an emergency entrance to Trafford Town Hall’s cold war bunker.

The entrance, pictured above, led to a series of rooms and passageways with concrete walls and steel doors but is now just an open space devoid of any fixtures or fittings and, at the time of our visit, flooded.

In November 1980, Manchester City council declared the city a nuclear free zone, and when this bunker was proposed a few years later, despite Trafford itself not being part of the zone, the anti-war feeling amongst the community led to opposition from the residents of Trafford borough.

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