This tunnel is closed until further notice.
If you spend any time on TikTok, you'll be treated to many extreme DIY home projects, from picturesque stone archways that wouldn't look out of place in Middle Earth to the dude who installed a concrete eel pit underneath his home.
But among the DIYers on the platform, Kala aka "tunnel girl" probably takes the crown for craziest DIYer, because she's been carving out a tunnel and subterranean storm shelter from bedrock underneath her suburban home in Virginia.
This mild-mannered woman, who's been documenting her "mining" project on the platform since 2022, has attracted a massive cadre of admirers and rubberneckers via her wildly viral videos, according to The Washington Post. But now local officials in Herndon, Virginia, where she lives, have shut down her unauthorized project after a neighbor complained.
"I didn’t expect this to get such a huge following," the tunnel girl told the media outlet in an interview. (She insisted on being called only Kala for safety reasons.)
Herndon officials shut down the project because they weren't sure of the project's safety and whether it was up to code. Also she needed a permit for the shelter. Bummer!
Kala is a software engineer by trade, to be clear, not a trained structural engineer. She'd been learning about mining and electrical work via YouTube and books as she progressed through the project, according to WaPo.
Riveting videos feature her creating a mine cart and pulley system to transport dirt and rocks from underground, plus her construction of wooden concrete form works and welded supports. She even installed a pump to remove water that was flooding the tunnel.
But as the videos gained more traction online, a neighbor got wind of the project and became understandably worried.
"I always saw huge piles of dirt leaving her property to the point that she pays for a dump truck to get the dirt out," reads the neighbor's note to local officials, as reported by WaPo.
Despite the sheer delight Kala and her fans have found in the project, the neighbor raises an important point.
If you want to build anything underground, you need structure and soil studies to make sure the property can take the abuse. And let's not forget this area of Virginia is also known for poisonous, cancer-causing radon seeping through the basement level.
That would be a danger to Kala and possibly her neighbors, and that's not cool — no matter how many millions of views these videos capture.
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