Have you ever wondered what’s underneath the ground of your house? Surely just dirt, you might think. However, you might be surprised to find something spectacular hidden right under your home. It’s always a little magical when we find hidden treasures in our backyard – we feel like modern-day explorers.
There’s stories of people finding 650-year old treasures, a rare whale fossil, a WWII airplane, and many other oddities you’d never imagine lie right under our noses. This is exactly what happened to this man when he discovered what was under his backyard. After finding the original house plan, he noticed something very peculiar that he’d never noticed before.
It will shock you.
To discover what was hiding underneath the ground, the man brought a metal detector expert on board to do the job. When the detector started beeping incessantly at a random spot on the lawn, the expert marked them immediately. He believed this is where the mysterious underground surprise might be.
The metal detector expert was suddenly filled with intrigue. He knew the machine wouldn’t have started beeping like that if this were regarding a simple pair of barbecue tongs.
The man was curious and had his theories about what he would find. Maybe a buried treasure? Or a time capsule? Anything was possible. He started to dig. What he found was a metal object, completely covered in dirt, so he still couldn't be sure what it was.
He’d heard the stories about the insane discoveries people made by unearthing thousand-year old artifacts in their backyards. Was he about to become part of one of those stories?
What he discovered as he kept on digging, was a metal lid. He still wasn’t quite sure what the lid was a cover to. Apparently, the lid was extremely heavy to lift, but he was eager to know what was underneath it.
At this point, he was ready for anything to happen. Was this the entrance to an underground tunnel? Was it a storage unit filled with boxes from hundreds of years ago? Whatever it was, it had been down there, untouched, for a very long time.
When he lifted the cover, he discovered various objects. Still, he was unable to make sense of them. They looked like blades, and were those stairs? In order to get a better look, he needed to get more dirt out of the way so he could crawl inside.
These weren’t regular stairs, but rather an old-fashioned, spiral staircase. Just like the ones you see in horror movies. What was at the bottom of the stairs, and why did the objects look like blades? This thing was getting creepier every second.
According to the map of the house, he figured this was most likely a bomb shelter. Was this simply a 1960s fallout shelter that someone had built in the panic of the Cold War? Or was this the work of a paranoid neighbor who was fearing some kind of apocalypse?
The most curious thing, however, was the fact that the house plan wasn’t very exact in showing this tunnel and staircase. Was this something that was here even before the house was built? And if so, why hadn’t the previous owners bothered to find out what was there? Whatever this was, it hadn't been touched in years.
So far, it seemed like a bomb shelter with some sort of electric fan. Whoever built this was no amateur, but someone who knew exactly what they were doing. And what’s weirder, they apparently planned to be down there for a very long time.
I mean, you don’t take the time to install a professional air fan unless you’re worried you might run out of air - and this normally isn’t the case if you’re simply planning to use the tunnel as a kid’s hide and seek spot.
The man wanted to clean up the staircase so that he could carry out his investigation safely. He realized there was a lot of rubble to clear, since part of the walls and some stair steps themselves had start to chip off and fall everywhere.
The staircase path down and the entire floor was covered with rubble. He used buckets to clear away the debris and emptied them outside.
After much hard work and labor, he managed to clear the staircase. He could finally see clearly and view the structure properly so he could determine what on earth it could be. It was definitely a shelter, but there was still a lot of space to be examined.
Was it a simple, small underground shelter? Or were there secret pathways and tunnels leading somewhere? Maybe even to a second set of stairs! He was about to find out.
The man decided to recruit a friends’ help. He thought it was smart to have some backup if the ground collapsed and he was trapped underneath. Imagine being trapped underground and nobody being able to help you, since they can’t even hear you scream!
But first things first, the group of friends wanted to build a safer entrance to the shelter. This way, they could ensure the structure was steadier and the risks of a disaster much less. So they added more concrete and rebuilt it.
Clearly, the area hadn’t been touched in years and the men had a lot of work to do. It took them days to rebuild the entrance, but once they finished making sure it was sturdy and secure, they placed steel rods for added security.
These rods were to be the body for a new structure they were building, a sort of tunnel entrance to their new-found shelter.
The process took time but the men knew that they were about to make a crazy discovery.
After all, how many times do you get to uncover an old bomb shelter in your backyard?!
They had to make sure the entrance was safe so they could explore thoroughly without any problem.
After they finished securing the entrance, they added concrete to the outside of the shelter. Adding the concrete was critical, though it was very time consuming and extremely hard work.
There were building materials everywhere, the heat was tiring, and the discovery had all of a sudden become a big building project.
Once they had some time to plan, the men placed a sonotube cardboard shape inside, in order to protect the inside of the entrance from damage. A sonotube is a concrete or cardboard form that is used to create round columns for buildings, entryways, light posts and many other types of structures.
Then, their next step was to add a conduit for electricity. The truth is, none of them had any idea how long they were going to be down there.
They were starting to see the progress of their work. But they still had way more to go! And to make matters worse, the weather started to get very hot, making it difficult to work long hours under the scorching sun.
The friends decided to cover the area with a tent so they could at least have some shade, and be able to continue with their work.
The man’s backyard started to look like the site of an archaeological dig. There were steel tubes, wooden planks, chainsaws, hoses, buckets, paint, and any other building material you could imagine!
At least everything was safe from the rain and the strong heat under the new tent. It managed to successfully keep the water and harsh sun rays out of the work area.
The next step was to add an air vent pipe so that they would be able to breathe underground. Just like someone before them installed an electrical fan in order to guarantee proper air circulation, they had to make sure they did the same through the new pipe.
They could see how much progress they’d made. But there was still a lot of work to do - and they weren’t going to stop until it was all nicely done!
Their next step was to fill in the gaps with concrete in order to make the structure sturdier. They wanted to make sure they took care of every last detail, and so did their work very thoroughly.
They decided to put concrete in the upper forms too. They wanted everything to be as secure as possible. We’ve all seen what happens when unstable structures remained untouched for so many years. Accidents are bound to occur- and these guys weren’t about to let that happen.
The project was quite filthy, as it usually is with concrete. It is definitely the best and strongest material to use for a case like this, but it is extremely messy, especially if you’re not used to working with it every day.
They wanted to do the best job they possibly could, so they smoothed out the concrete to make everything look professional.
For extra support, they put the rebar in the base area. Already, it looked so much better. Now, it even looked like one of those professional, secret government hatches from a sci-fi movie.
Obviously, they were making great progress with the project, but of course, they still had more work to do.
The time had come for the men to take off the forms from the top of the entrance. Now they could really see how much progress they’d made.
The hard part was over, all they needed to do was wait for the concrete to dry. Go get a soda, boys, this is going to take a while!
The men were astounded by their progress. They couldn’t believe how different it looked from when they first found it. Before they had started working, it was an abandoned bomb shelter.
Now, it looked like professional construction workers had been building it for years! It looked great, and now it was secure enough to be properly explored!
They were ready to go down and see what else was hiding in this bomb shelter. The men did an amazing job all by themselves. All that was needed were some good materials, some patience, and a hard-working group of friends.
They made the entrance look brand new. Just look at the difference between this and the second photo of this article!
They still had to work on the inside. Their first step was to make away with the rusty steps, since these could be quite dangerous to cut your skin on. They needed to use a propane torch and grinder in order to loosen the screws.
So they took down a pair of stairs of their own and started unloosening the tight screws, which hadn’t been touched for god knows how long!
These old steps are what remained. Look at them all old and rusted - just an accident waiting to happen. They knew these steps definitely couldn't be trusted and it was just a matter of time until they started falling apart.
It’s a good thing they removed them. It’s hard to think anyone of sound mind would have willingly gone down those stairs!
They also removed the railing of the steps, as that was also rusted. You can see in this picture how tight the space was. You could barely fit one grown man inside!
Once they finished with the railing, they were ready to start working on the inside. They removed the hinges that were left over from a door.
Finally, they were able to see inside. What do you think they found? A 100-year old corpse? A million dollars? A loaded machine gun?
As it turns out, it wasn’t quite what they had imagined, but with some work, they figured they could turn it into something special...
They soon realized their work wasn’t over. They had more to do than they'd imagined, because as it turns out, the fiberglass on the ceiling was starting to come off.
Fiberglass can be extremely dangerous if it touches your skin, not to mention the damage it can do to your lungs. There was no way around it, they had to take it all off.
But much to their surprised, they quickly realized that the fiberglass wasn’t actually connected to the ceiling. This meant that they could simply peel it off.
Still, peeling it off took its time, as the ceiling was positioned at an uncomfortable angle and they had to creatively maneuver their way around.
They kept peeling off the the fiberglass for hours, until there was just the bare concrete left. Then they put the fiberglass into a big pile and made sure to throw it away properly. It had probably been wearing away for decades.
Even though they weren’t professional construction builders, these men knew the dangers of not disposing of fiberglass correctly.
Now came the fun part - cleaning! They sure had a lot of scrubbing and sweeping to do! They knew that even though they weren’t finished with the shelter, it had a lot much potential.
All it needed was some TLC and it could quickly become the new favorite room in the house (or, better said, under the house).
With all the hard work they put in, they decided it was a good idea to stop there for now. They needed a break so they could get their strength and creativity flowing for the second round.
After all, a good night’s sleep can do wonders in helping us come up with new inspiring ideas!
They still had to clean up and remove all the garbage from the shelter. But even though it was a lot of hard work, it was totally worth it for these guys. It was such an amazing find to discover in such a suburban, plain looking back yard.
Stay tuned for our follow up story on this neat discovery - we can’t wait to see what the finished room looks like!