back to article Underground tunnel complexes FOUND ON MOON

Space boffins believe they may be on the verge of discovering a vast, hidden network of tunnels beneath the surface of the Moon. Pit crater in the Mare Tranquillitatis. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University Collapsed pit-crater shaft leading down to a sub-selenean tunnel? The tunnels aren't thought to be the work of …


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  1. Gordon 10

    Not News

    Isnt this where the Clangers and Soup Dragon have been living for decades?

    1. John G Imrie


      Not to mention the Iron Chicken and the Froglets.

      Ha, they don't make TV like that any more.

      PS. El Reg, Can we have a nostalgia icon?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        I loved the original Clangers

        But I hated the George Lucas remake from 1977.

    2. Stanislav

      No, no, no!

      Oh, this is too much. I can no longer sit idly by while people perpetuate this myth that the Clangers live on the Moon.

      Listen to Postgate's opening remarks to practically any episode (DVD available from all good online retailers) and it is quite clear that the Clangers' planet is far away, hanging amidst the infinite void, silent and serene, all alone in the inky blackness of space.

      So pack it in, do you hear? End this foolishness! There are NO CLANGERS ON THE MOON.

      By gum. Is it Friday already?

      1. No, I will not fix your computer


        //So pack it in, do you hear? End this foolishness! There are NO CLANGERS ON THE MOON//

        But it was well documented that they had invented space travel, it's quite possible that Clangers have been visiting for some time, and the Moon is a similar scape to the Clangers planet so it would make sense they preferred the Moon to earth.

        You cannot prove there are no Clangers on the Moon therefore there must be some.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          According to Futurama, there is an alternative lifeform

          We're whalers on the Moon

          We carry a harpoon

          But there are no whales

          So we tell tall tales

          And sing our whaling tune

      2. Adrian Jones

        Don't believe everything you're told!

        It's just BBC misinformation. They lied to us to stop us building musically powered boats to fly up there and visit.

    3. Wommit


      I think you'll find Torchy, the battery boy got there first

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @ Gordon 10

      A cure for the world's food shortages! Blue String Pudding!

  2. rpjs

    I think you need to clarify one sentence

    "President Obama has lately stated that there will be no manned return to the Moon"

    ITYM "no *American* manned return to the Moon", or at least not until after the Chinese get there.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Just what made those tunnels..?

    Anyone who read the book "Major Matt Mason - Moon Mission" as a kid will know :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up


      First Men in the Moon -- H G Wells

      The Moon is a Harsh Mistress -- Robert A Helinlein

      The Moon is Hell -- John W Campbell


      See for a long list of moon related SF.

  4. Roger Kynaston

    I for one

    Welcome our lunar overlords so long as they aren't Elvis fans

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The truth...

    "Nor is any involvement by Tibetans, Elvis or others seeking a secluded dwelling far from prying human eyes suspected."

    They were constructed by Thetans.


  6. envmod


    GIANT MOON WORMS! (made the tunnels)

  7. Fluffykins Silver badge

    If the moon is 1/6th Earth's size

    Will there be prople at the entrances to these tunnels selling copies of the Small Issue?

    1. Bumpy Cat

      Erm ...

      Where's the "+1, WTF" button?

  8. N2


    But they still can't find the Lancaster bomber...

  9. AceRimmer1980

    Well now we now

    It's _Swiss_ cheese.

  10. Kevin Johnston

    "long-extinct (or perhaps still surviving) intelligent moon aliens"?

    I think you will find they were/are actually native so not aliens at all, unless of course you think they came from 'out there' and preferred living on the moon to living on good old Terra.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not quite

    'When the lava cools and solidifies, there is often an open space left above its surface, forming a tunnel.'

    The surface of the lava cools rapidly and solidifies to form the hard surface, but the conductivity of basalt is so low the lava in the middle of the flow continues to remain liquid. The molten lava flows downhill under gravity and reappears near the toe of the flow advancing it somewhat. Eventually the supply of new lava from the vent ceases, the remaining lava in the tube drains downhill and you're left with a tube. If you go to Hawaii or Iceland you can walk along some lava tubes and they are very spooky places.

    Similar tubes have also recently been spotted on Mars.

    On a selenological note - if they're big enough they might make a good place to build a lunar base as the overlying rock will provide some insulation from heat, cold and any meteorites whizzing around.

    1. Daniel 1

      Very good place for lunar bases

      Since they're probably reasonably gas-tight, already. The lava can only flow out because there is something to take it's place. That something, usually, being gas. Anything that can hold gas long enough for molten rock to solidify on a nearly airless world is worth investigating.

      1. Allan George Dyer


        Why would something need to take the lava's place, for it to flow out? All it needs is somewhere to flow to. It is not like a pipette with your finger over the end, where the atmospheric pressure holds the water in place, there is no atmosphere there.

        However, they do sound like an excellent place for a moon base, just choose your length of tunnel, nicely sealed with basalt, and fit a door at each end.

      2. Mr Grumblefish

        Good idea

        I've been looking for undercover parking for my Eagle for bloody years.

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          Nice "Space 1999" reference!

          I really loved the Eagle landers - and the Hawk fighter that appeared in one episode! Had both of them as Airfix models ...

  12. Anne Frank

    Why don't they send some astronauts up to investigate the tunnels??

    Oh wait.... that would involve astronauts actually GOING to the Moon and landing - something which NASA can't allow because that would make these people the first to ever land on the Moon, which would ruin their lunar landing fakery

    FAIL (because they never went in the first place!!) *puts on tin-foil hat*

    1. Anonymous Bastard

      I could make a hobby of trolling

      Don't you think if "they" were capable of faking a moon landing to such an extent then "they" would be able to also lie about the newer, real astronauts not being the first?

      FAIL because nutjob conspiracy theorists never let logic get in the way of a good argument with a devil's advocate.

      1. david bates


        What about if the astronauts find that the real moon simply does not match the fake moon of so many years ago? eh?

        Nasa can hardly play the 'franchise reboot' card....

    2. Daniel Garcia 2

      For god sake

      if the Soviet Union did not denounce the 'fakery' of the moonlanding, when they were the most eager to proof that the landing was fake, then there is not conspiracy to talk about.

      The moon-landing was an USA PR campaign again the Soviets.

      The Soviet with 3 bloody radio telescope can pinpoint (basic telemetry) if the transmissions were from a localization at the lunar surface( and for sure they did check and recheck).

      The soviet didn't deny the Apollo success.


      either the moon landing happened or the whole world is rule by a single group entity that staged the Cold War.Do you believe that?

      1. Charley 1

        Of course I do

        and they're 12 foot tall blood drinking lizards.

  13. Select * From Handle
    Thumb Up

    a robot mission to the moon?

    well wilst they are their with robots, i presume that they have some sort of video feedback. they can go video the flag that they place on the moon and prove that the moon landing video wasnt a fake? if they dont video it i will forever think it was a fake landing :D

    1. The lone lurker

      @a robot mission to the moon?

      And America would never fake that too....Would they?

      1. Maty

        can't fool me ...

        As if we don't know that this dialogue has been faked to 'prove' that there is a moon landing controversy.

        Actually this message has also been faked to prove that there is a fake series of postings about a fake moon landing.

        Solipsism, anyone? I'm buying.

  14. Stef 4

    Won't somebody think of the children?!?!

    This is obviously just the first step in a Lunar-Crab-People invasion. First they have opened the roof on their lunar-crab-lair to reveal their network of lunar-crab-tunnels, the next step is surely to launch lunar-crab-missiles at earth.

    While they bombard Earth from the lunar surface (or more accurately, just under the lunar surface), the lunar-crab-people's Earth-bound brethren, The Crab-People, will begin their conquest by sending in the elite crab-stormtroopers.

    Our days are numbered.

    Failing that, no doubt this is just the bad-guy from You Only Live Twice with yet another volcano with a sliding roof-door.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lunar Lava tubes predicted by A.C. Clarke

    . . in "The Last Theorem", a book otherwise lacking any noteable advatages.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I don't know

      It has the advantage that it's not 'Garden of Rama'.

  16. Anonymous Coward


    Aren't they for the extension to the Jubilee line?

  17. Lloyd


    Were the species that made the tunnels killed off by a common cold? Hold on now, didn't HG Wells use the same plot device in War of the Worlds too?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      You're thinking of the 1960's movie with Lionel Jeffries and Edward Judd. That has a human lunar landing set of bookends. I've never read the book so what happens there is (I suspect) *completely* different (I'll guess the party get back to the sphere and escape to Earth but live with knowledge of the potential arrival of the Moon people if they ever manage to reverse engineer Cavorite.

    2. Captain DaFt


      According to the Manual of Improbable History, the Lunnites were killed off by the uncommon hot. Fortunately, the disease died with them, and all that's left here on Earth is the much weaker, common cold.

      Yes, it's Friday, innit?

  18. Samuel Walker

    Lava tunnels

    One the moon?

    I was under the impression that a (part) molten core was needed for lava.

    I didn't think that the moon had ever had a molten core.

    I call cover-up!

    1. SoltanGris

      Ode to Richard Hoagland.

      Replying to Samuel Walker's post above:

      There is plenty of evidence of ancient lava activity on the moon right in front of your

      face (okay, a good lens set helps). THey are called mares, ancient lava flows.

      Those huge bloched areas . Can't miss em.

      So, ye olde moon had plenty of ancient lava activity.

      So, the aliens came in later and made use of these tubes. That much is obvious.

      If only Art Bell was still alive and broadcasting. Such a lost opportunity.

      "Let's get drunk and make shit up".

    2. Luther Blissett

      I know it's Friday an' all

      I was under the impression that lava tubes were needed to account for lunar rilles.

      The question then is why isn't there more rubble lying about from collapsed tubes? It should be everywhere.

      I call hand-waving!

    3. publius

      Cover-up, indeed!

      The lunar maria (seas) were giant lava flows, presumably from impacts, but possibly with a little help from volcanism due to internal heat.

  19. Gilbert Wham

    'Lava Tubes', eh?

    Moon Nazis is what it is. Iron Sky, anyone?

  20. Stu

    Here's a wild idea.

    Why not send up some Spirit / Opportunity style roving robots, maybe ten of them, up to the moon, then charge premium rate RC moon buggy action to the semi-rich or major moon afficionados to drive the things around the moonian surface with live video feed for an hour or so?

    According to the intarnets, there will likely be a 2.6 second (or so) delay lag before you see the results of your controls over the robots, as opposed to the hours for the martian rovers. Not too shabby.

    ...might raise enuff fundage for a man-moon trip without Obamas lack of vision being a factor, whilst at the same time raising interest in the place. Could even arrange excursions to overhang and observe these weird lava pits too.

  21. John 98

    Seriusly though

    Good places for a base - out of radiation etc. And if you're really lucky aligned right for sticking a magnetic catapult in to shoot stuff into space.

  22. andy gibson

    The film....

    "First Men in the Moon" with the wonderful Lionel Jeffries

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Iron Sky marketing?

    Seems like the Fins have found some major backing for their movie then..

  24. Anonymous Coward


    Since sub is a Latin stem and Selene is a Greek Goddess, surely it should either be hyposelenean, or sublunar? Personally, I think hyposelenean has a nice ring to it...

    Apologies for pedantry...

  25. envmod

    apologies for any inconvenience

    i'm afraid all the tunnels are shut this weekend for essential maintenace. they are running a replacement bus service - with that double decker bus they found.

  26. Brian O'Byrne

    Lunar habitat

    One of the significant problems with a permanent lunar habitat is protection from solar radiation. Do the sub-selenian tunnels offer a ready-made solution?

  27. Steven Knox


    They've simply found where the monolith was buried...?

  28. David McMahon

    If you look closely

    you can see the 'moonians' going about their daily 'moonly'?? business collecting minerals for their customers :)

  29. Yesnomaybe

    It's not...

    one of them caves that turn out not to be a cave, but rather some huge monster with giant teeth that is basically some kind of giant space-based ambush-predator and once you have flown your spaceship into the cave, will suddenly show it's true colour and attempt to gobble up said spaceship, and you'll have to really get a move on in order to avoid said gobbling, it will suddenly aquire a long flexible neck and even attempt to snatch the spaceship from the sky, and you'll be lucky to escape. It's not one of them, is it?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      As far as I know.... is under the impression that the Moon is a fake surface built to kept stupid apes from wakening the ancient evil of an Inhibitor Device, so no.

      1. Yesnomaybe
        Thumb Up



  30. Kurt 5


    Probably just one of the outer ports of Dahak. Which would be really cool -- assuming my DNA sequence was correct.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      You win an upvote

      and a full set of bridge officer's implants.

  31. Poor Coco

    OK, now we have a moonbase location... we can get a nice long-term habitat there for tritium mining and such. Launching bulk cargo from the moon would be a piece of cake for a Gauss-gun launcher.

    However, if you REALLY want to get into large-scale raping of the Solar System's wealth, you need to go to Mars. But how do you get the bulk cargo off? Easy. Same way as on the moon: a Gauss-gun located in the caldera of Olympus Mons, which is damn near in space anyhow. Just set up an automated track up the side of the volcano from the relatively benign lowlands, and Bob's your uncle. (Insofar as that expression can be used at all for large-scale operations on another planet, natch!)

  32. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    "large-scale raping of the Solar System's wealth"

    Do you not thinking this might be a, I dunno, morally grey area?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "it will have a smooth bottom"


  34. ibnsuleiman
    Thumb Up

    Bonus point

    for "sub-selenian".

  35. John Tserkezis

    We need to send an observation probe now.

    To find out if that really is the new home of Gray Powell, the guy who lost the iPhone4 prototype at that bar in California.

    Yes, yes, I know, I'm leaving.

  36. Denarius

    Lava tubes Earth, Mars

    Biggest lava tubes on Earth are at Wondarra in north queensland, Oz. Not air or water tight and 10 meters across. One is estimated to run for 100KM. Even got basalt stagmites in them in one spot.

    Daily tours thru them. Not creepy, just odd, especially where one runs over an old waterfall site. Simlilar lava tube candidates have also been seen on Mons Olympus., Mars. Might be useful location for protected base, if there was any reason to go into a gravity well once one had finally escaped the Earths.

    Read Pournelles "I'm in a Hole" for illustration of the concept.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Yet again we all fall for the old hoaxes...

    Ah, the old hoax comes out again, that the moon landings were faked.

    Of course they were, because THE MOON is a HOAX!

    FACT: Before 1932 there are no real photos of the Moon - it didn't exist!

    FACT: The "moon" was nailed to the Holy Sky Dome by koka-kola & D1sn3y in the mid-40's to prolong WW2.

    FACT: You can hide the moon with your thumb, proving that it is only about the size of a 5p piece, meaning you couldn't possibly land there.

    FACT: Tides are caused by God interacting with fish.

    FACT: Eclipses are caused by flocks of birds, not the moon.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up


      Quality troll.

  38. chris 130

    Proof that the Moon really is cheese

    Seems like the theory that the moon is in fact cheese has now been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    Its a no brainer.

  39. Bleepme

    Am I the only one...

    ...who thinks perhaps a moonologist is a very different thing...

  40. The_Police!

    I for one

    welcome our new moon tunnel dwelling overlords.

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