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Odessa Catacombs
February 27, 2013 8:23 PM   Subscribe

"Hello. I`d like to tell you about Odessa katakombs. [Warning: disturbing images.] Odessa is not far from the capital of Ukraine - Kiev. Under Odessa consists the biggest katakombs in the world. Their total length is more than 2500 km, so this katakombs are much more bigger than Paris katakombs...During the World War II a lot of citizens were hiding in catacombs. A lot of them used to live there for a year and more. So even today it is possible to find weapons, equipment and even dead bodies. Every year a lot of explorers lost and even die there."
posted by Ouisch (24 comments total) 73 users marked this as a favorite

 
Someone needs to archive these photos before they disappear.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:44 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's his Picasa album of more photos. Should have included it.
posted by Ouisch at 8:47 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


the forum discussion of the dead girl is remarkable. tl;dr summary:

a bit under a sequence of tunnel/spelunking pics the original OP posts a shot of a small group of tunnel explorers standing over a decayed body. OP goes on to explain the body belonged to a 'girl' who was left behind in 2005 and eventually removed in 2007. In the interim, like Green Boots on Everest, she was a known landmark to the tunnel explorers but regarded as offlimits by the Odessa authorities. Fascinating.
posted by mwhybark at 9:03 PM on February 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


the forum continues with updates to 2012; op updates the total number of lost as the thread continues.
posted by mwhybark at 9:10 PM on February 27, 2013


You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike.
posted by stbalbach at 10:28 PM on February 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


What is the likelihood that this girl 'got lost' vs. murdered or something else? What does this say about the state of the state and the value of life in Odessa that a body could lay there for two years? Yikes. A dark, mysterious and no doubt myth filled labyrinth.

From the third link "The maps of the Odessa Catacombs look like some fractal Borgesian nightmare, like something an autistic Dungeons and Dragons player who got high on meth drew." I saw an artist in a donut shop once doing exactly these kind of wall sized elaborate diagrams.

Fantastic post filling the gaps where National Geographic dares not (but really should!) go.
posted by astrobiophysican at 10:43 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Creepy! How did I never hear of them?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:44 PM on February 27, 2013


This is absolutely amazing! incredible. how many people was used to construct such weird place. One of the best links I have seen here. I still have to look into the whole information, there is so much to see... Surprising!
posted by CRESTA at 10:59 PM on February 27, 2013


"Catacombs" is a bit of a misnomer here. The majority of the huge network system is abandoned mine shafts and some sewers.
posted by rh at 11:13 PM on February 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


What does this say about the state of the state and the value of life in Odessa that a body could lay there for two years?

He mentions that the body was three miles from the entrance, and given how much of a tangle the katakombs seem to be, it doesn't sound like it would've been easy to get her out without a either a good guide (which didn't seem to be forthcoming) or a lot of manpower. Given the (presumable) difficult in locating the body, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me that she was left there.

These pictures are amazing--thank you so much for sharing.
posted by MeghanC at 11:15 PM on February 27, 2013


MeghanC, are you kidding? Kids with flashlights can find it (they refer to it as a well known landmark in the comments); but the local cops either a) can't be bothered b) are afraid to tread where kids with flashlights go or c) what? Paint me unimpressed. If you think it's excusable for authorities to leave the body of a dead girl lying in a tunnel for years then, I'm sorry you missed growing up in a place where human life has a bit more value than is evidenced here.
posted by astrobiophysican at 11:35 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Catacombs" is a bit of a misnomer here.


I think we might possibly be in at the birth of a new word, where 'catacomb' continues to mean primarily a place where you put corpses, and 'katakomb', originally just an error, gets used for the extended sense of a load of tunnels.
posted by Segundus at 11:40 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


fractal Borgesian nightmare
Invokes all the senses in case you hadn't gotten it yet- lost in a maze would be nothing compared to being lost in a fractal *shivers*
posted by variella at 11:41 PM on February 27, 2013


I totally used these in a game of Night's Black Agents - one of those locations that just works perfectly for putting the fear into folks.
posted by longbaugh at 11:52 PM on February 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


These are amazing. Thanks, Ouisch. I just wish my Ukrainian Grandfather were still alive so I could share this with him.

I know I'm going to dream about this tonight. I'll have to remember to bring a Gravity Gun, just in case.
posted by homunculus at 12:33 AM on February 28, 2013


If I should happen to eat at my beloved old Odessa Restaurant next time I'm back in NYC, I'll be reminded of this. Thanks a lot.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:38 AM on February 28, 2013


My Elven magic user casts a spell of Continual Light, while the Halfling thief remains in the shadows up ahead, scouting for danger...
posted by maxim0512 at 5:05 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The pic/imagined back story of the dead girl, plus this, gave me a mini panic attack. Buried alive, indeed.
posted by availablelight at 5:49 AM on February 28, 2013


My home town. I've heard a lot about these, but never seen them. Great find (even if half the images are not coming up).
posted by pyro979 at 7:23 AM on February 28, 2013


Anyone interested in Odessa (and other historically multicultural cities in that part of the world) should bookmark Poemas del río Wang, which has put online amazing photos and thoughful analyses and meditations over the last few years; here are some posts to get you started: Odessa, ghost city; Odessa, the city of marvels; New Year in Odessa; Odessa Tales; Together in Odessa (a report on a río Wang-sponsored trip to the city; if you wish you'd been there, don't despair, he's leading another one in April).
posted by languagehat at 7:47 AM on February 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Interesting... watching videos of the catacombs here on Youtube.

I would love to build a nightclub down there!
posted by markkraft at 10:46 AM on February 28, 2013


rh: "Catacombs" is a bit of a misnomer here. The majority of the huge network system is abandoned mine shafts and some sewers.
Someone tell Thorin we found another entrance.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:32 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


astrobiophysican: If you think it's excusable for authorities to leave the body of a dead girl lying in a tunnel for years then, I'm sorry you missed growing up in a place where human life has a bit more value than is evidenced here.
A corpse != human life.

Odessa may (or may not) be a cesspool of murder and lawlessness, but I really can't say this factoid sways my opinion of the city proper at all.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:34 PM on February 28, 2013


2 days later, I just can't get the story of the dead girl out of my head. What a horrific way to die. It must have taken days. You wake up from the drunken revelry in total darkness, in the middle of an underground maze. Do you start feeling your way around systematically on the slim chance you might find away out? Do you stay put hoping someone remembers where they last saw you? Do any of those people you were hanging out with notice you were missing? Is help coming? Or are you locked into an ever ascending panic attack until total insanity rapidly overcomes you?

The most merciful thing to contemplate is that maybe she died of hypothermia while passed out drunk.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:31 PM on March 2, 2013


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