Sub-Tropolis: World Largest Underground Cave

Ever heard of an artificial cave large enough to serve as an underground city?

It was recently discovered that there are some underground tunnels below Africa’s highest peak, the Kilimanjaro, currently being surveyed by National Parks authorities in Tanzania.

But there have also been reports of similar tunnels crisscrossing underneath the Arusha City​ in Northern Tanzania,​ located some 100 kilometers from the world’s tallest free standing mountain.

But here we are talking about something called ‘SubTropolis.’ It is found in Kansas.

Coincidentally, Kansas is a sister city to Arusha, the Tanzanian hub of tourism.

The Sub-Tropolis  is an artificial cave measuring 4.5 square kilometers in the bluffs above the Missouri River in Kansas City, Missouri, United States.

While it could be transformed into a city, the cave remains the world’s largest underground storage facility

In the early 1970s, Ford Motor Company was producing the Maverick, a compact car marketed as an affordable and efficient vehicle.

However, the demand for the Maverick was not as high as Ford had anticipated, and they found themselves with a surplus of unsold cars.

To deal with this surplus, Ford decided to store thousands of unsold Mavericks in the Subtropolis caves located in Kansas City, Missouri.

Subtropolis is a man-made underground complex of limestone mines, covering over 55 million square feet, and is home to many businesses that use the caves for storage and other purposes.

Ford leased about 25 acres of the cave complex, which was ideal for storing the cars as the caves are naturally climate-controlled with temperatures ranging between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

The cars were kept in the caves until they could be sold, which reportedly took several years.

The storage of the Mavericks in the Subtropolis caves became somewhat of a legend in the automotive world, with many car enthusiasts and historians fascinated by the idea of thousands of unsold cars sitting underground for years.

Today, the Subtropolis complex is still in use, and while the Mavericks are no longer stored there, the story of their time underground remains a unique piece of automotive history.

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