A nuclear holocaust. A meteor collision. A zombie apocalypse. The end of the world is such a scary proposition that some people are already preparing for it. In fact, this British handyman built an underground shelter so nice that we’d gladly move into it right now.
The so-called “Apocalypse Bunker” is just one in a long list of crazy projects undertaken by quirky inventor Colin Furze. The 37-year-old British YouTuber has built everything from the world’s longest motorcycle to a working hoverbike.
Since joining YouTube in 2006, Furze has accrued almost 3.5 million subscribers and 350 million views. He doesn’t keep fans waiting long, either. The do-it-yourself innovator posts new videos of his crazy projects every week.
You might be surprised to hear that the Stamford, England, native dropped out of high school at 16 to become a plumber. Still, it wasn’t until 2011 that he got his big break on the TV program Gadget Geeks, where he built gadgets to help people solve problems.
What’s more, Furze doesn’t have any mechanical or engineering training, which is astonishing when you consider the complexity of some of his inventions. Building a swing that completes a full 360-degree circle, for instance, certainly requires some advanced technical knowledge.
But in September 2015 Furze decided to do something a little different. Instead of inventing a crazy contraption, he would create a self-sufficient, apocalypse-proof underground shelter.
Furze got the idea to build the bunker when U.K. TV station Sky 1 approached him about promoting their new comedy show You, Me and the Apocalypse, in which a group of people are faced with the end of the world. And in return for promoting the show, Sky agreed to pay for the entire project.
To start off, the wacky inventor created a basic plan. He would excavate a large hole in his backyard, build the bunker, fill the surrounding space with concrete and cover it up with grass turf, all as if nothing had ever happened.
For the first part of the project, Furze brought in diggers to excavate an 11.5-foot-deep square with an adjacent space for a hallway. And after digging through soil and rock, it was time to switch over to building the actual bunker.
Now although many commenters told him to just lower a shipping container into the hole, Furze thought it would “make for a pretty grim room.” Instead, then, he decided to build the bunker from scratch by welding together steel sheets and beams.
With help from a friend, the innovator constructed the floor, walls and a curved roof for the bunker as well as a small hallway that would lead to the surface. A test soon followed, too: it started to rain. But – with the exception of some water that got in before the roof was finished – the steel construction proved to be waterproof.
All in all, Furze estimates that they welded together about 6 tons of steel. It was certainly the most daunting part of the project as well; as Furze joked, “If I never see a welder again for the next few weeks it would not bother me.”
But with the hardest part finished, it was now time to add ventilation pipes, electric wiring and a hatch going up to the surface. After that, the remaining space underneath, around and on top of the bunker was filled with 2,118 cubic feet of concrete for support and protection.
For the next step, the remaining space on top of the concrete was filled with gravel and then soil. And the fact that the bunker’s roof was able to hold the weight of the concrete, gravel, soil and a 2-ton digger proved just how durable it was.
Finally, with the soil nice and compact, the grinning innovator rolled out the grass turf to cover the ground. In his own words, the bunker “disappeared, you can’t see it, you don’t even know it’s there.”
With the job all but done, for the last and final step Furze built a new shed to cover the concrete roof around the hatch leading down to the bunker. The first sight of the shelter, then, is a ladder that descends down into a narrow hallway.
Looks good, right? And as Furze jokingly admits, unless an apocalypse scenario actually happens, he’ll use the bunker as a man cave. Accordingly, he stocked the underground lair with a couch, a flatscreen TV, gaming consoles and even a drum set.
Indeed, the bunker is entirely self-sufficient and includes a bed, kitchen area, shelves stocked with nonperishable food and a toilet. Meanwhile, a macerating unit processes all waste and pumps it up to the surface.
Additionally, while the bunker receives water and power from the house above, it’s also stocked with water and electrical generators. But probably the coolest gadget is the remote-control assault rifle. In a tight situation, this could be used to get rid of unwanted intruders perhaps trying to open the hatch.
Furze says the project took almost two months to complete. In fact, it reminded him of what he “used to do as a child but another 11 levels higher and then some.” He plans to add an air filtration system in future, too, but the bunker is otherwise fully operational. And while he probably hopes he’ll never have to use it, it’s a nice contingency plan for Armageddon.