Image of the day: The creepy Mario mural buried deep inside a U.S. military nuclear bunker

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Aug 8, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT (Updated)

Not many people get a chance to descend deep into the bowels of a U.S. military nuclear bunker, but if you ever do, you might find some extremely weird stuff down there.

The folks at NPR did an extensive feature on the nation’s U.S. missile installations, which is a cool read in itself, but while digging into these mysterious installations the reporter found some odd murals painted on the final wall before reaching the elevator to head deep underground.

One of those is the oddly foreboding piece above featuring Mario, Bowser and a mushroom cloud, located at a bunker on Interstate 80 between Wyoming and Nebraska. The weird(er) part? That bunker isn’t the only one, as others around the country feature art from sci-fi staples such as Star Wars.

The author, Geoff Brumfiel, notes that these little touches evolve because the folks who manage missile silos have, not surprisingly, a dark sense of humor:

“We pass through a final checkpoint and open the door to the elevator," writes the author,. "At the entrance they've added a decorative touch: a giant mural of Mario, the cartoon plumber from the video game. At the bottom, Mario stands next to a mushroom cloud. Missile crews are known for their dark humor."

So, just in case you ever find yourself hiding out during armageddon (or starting it by firing off a few missiles), at least you’ll have Mario around to keep you company.

(Via IGN, NPR)