This Man Spent 32 Years Digging a Tunnel to the Middle of Nowhere


A man in El Paso has allegedly dug a hole for 32 years but the tunnel is leading nowhere,  the man’s name is William Henry ‘Burro’ Schmidt, however, people call him “the human mole” for this feat.

According to OddityCentral:

Somewhere in the Mojave Desert’s El Paso range there is a strange tunnel that traverses 2,087 feet of solid rock up in Copper Mountain. What’s strange is that it doesn’t lead to anywhere special. It simply emerges on the high ledge, in the middle of nowhere. The only reason it exists is because an eccentric man named William Henry ‘Burro’ Schmidt – a.k.a. the human mole – wanted it there.

Although he spent 32 years of his life single-handedly digging a half-mile long tunnel through a solid granite mountain, he never talked much about it. When questioned about his bizarre project, he simply replied that it was a shortcut. To where, no one really knows.

Schmidt first migrated to the California desert from Rhode Island in the late 19th century, in order to improve his health. He is believed to have started digging the tunnel in 1902, near the site where he had staked a mining claim. He carried out the excavation using picks, hammers, hand drills and explosives, and removed rubble with a wheelbarrow. At times, he even carried it out on his back. Eventually, he installed iron tracks and a mine car to transport debris.

Most people who live in the region believe he was just plain crazy. He lived alone and had a reputation for being a miser – he would mend his clothes with flour sacks and his shoes with crushed tin cans. Many times, he was seriously injured by his own explosions while digging the tunnel, because he was too frugal to use a long fuse. At one point, the locals called him ‘Jackass Schmidt’, and later in life he took on the name ‘Burro’.

Until this day, the Burro Schmidt tunnel is still a source of great mystery and awe, and continues to rouse the curiosity of people who visit it. Everyone who has been to the tunnel will vouch for the fact that Schmidt knew what he was doing. He had no formal training and picked up most of the skills required for the job while doing it, but the accuracy of his work is unmistakable. Still, the question remains – why would anyone want to build a tunnel to nowhere?


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