The moon may have massive, underground tubes large enough to house a city

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Mar 30, 2015, 1:13 PM EDT (Updated)

If a new theory is correct, the moon could have the perfect underground habitat just waiting for us to build a city in it.

The harshness of open space with minimal environment, combined with extreme temperature fluctuations and the threat of asteroids, is one of the bigger concerns related to building bases on other planets (or moons), but things could be a whole lot easier for lunar settlers if these researchers at Purdue University have things figured out. 

According to some new findings, the team posits that the moon might actually house massive underground lava tubes. Some of them could be big enough to house an entire underground city. That would, obviously, drastically improve the odds of survival for humans. It’s not a cure-all, sure, but it would be the perfect starting point to cut down on other variables. There’s a reason cavemen sought shelter in caves: Beats being out in the open.

Lava tubes, which are also present on Earth, form during volcanic eruptions. They’re essentially the trails left behind by lava flow. The team hasn’t been able to prove the tubes also exist on the moon, though they have some new theoretical work that shows it’s possible (and that they could be gigantic).

Now that we have a working theory, the next step is to send some lunar explorers to try and actually find some caves. After that? Book me a ticket to Moon Town.

(Via New York Magazine, Univ. of Purdue)