This town in Germany is barely holding itself together
Staufen, a small town in Germany with a population of about 7,500, is crumbling underneath residents’ very feet.
Buildings are cracking and the ground is expanding due to complications from geothermal drilling, which began in 2007.
YouTubers Tom Scott and Constantijn Crijnen chronicled the story on Scott’s Youtube channel, describing the collapsing city and the science behind the crumble.
According to the video, the government began digging seven holes, conveniently right behind the town hall building.
The holes bore right into a layer of the mineral Anhydrite and underneath that, into a layer of groundwater.
As the ground water began to seep up into the Anhydrite, it formed the compound Gypsum, which expands by a rate of 50 percent.
This has caused buildings to crack and move, depending on the shifting ground beneath it.
“The town hall has risen more than half-a-meter and moved sideways by the same amount,” said Scott.
It might sound cool that the building is getting taller and moving on its own, but the problem isn’t cut and dry.
“The trouble is that different parts of each building have shifted by slightly different amounts. Modern buildings couldn’t cope with that, and that town hall was built in 1546,” Scott said.
Geothermal drilling was very popular in Germany and Staufen is not the only town that is experiencing this problem. Eight other towns are experiencing similar erosion throughout the country, according to the video.
So even after the Berlin Wall was brought down in 1989, walls continue to come down in other parts of the country.
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