Social media users are all jacked up over a tweet from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) asking about urban tunnels and underground facilities.
After all, if an apocalypse is coming, they want to be in the know!
DARPA is seen as the “mad science” wing of the Defense Department and the agency posted a pair of tweets Wednesday making the odd request, setting a quick two-day deadline.
No details were offered on the purpose for the space, other than to “host research & experimentation.”
“Attention, city dwellers! We’re interested in identifying university-owned or commercially managed underground urban tunnels & facilities able to host research & experimentation. It’s short notice… We’re asking for responses by Aug. 30 at 5:00 PM ET.,” the first tweet read.
Attention, city dwellers! We’re interested in identifying university-owned or commercially managed underground urban tunnels & facilities able to host research & experimentation. https://t.co/tHZ1Tqy5nV
It’s short notice… We’re asking for responses by Aug. 30 at 5:00 PM ET. pic.twitter.com/TSWO07bJam
— DARPA (@DARPA) August 28, 2019
A follow-up tweet offered more details on what the ideal space would entail, but still no real explanation for what the agency planned to do with it.
“The ideal space would be a human-made underground environment spanning several city blocks w/ complex layout & multiple stories, including atriums, tunnels & stairwells,” that tweet read. “Spaces that are currently closed off from pedestrians or can be temporarily used for testing are of interest.”
The ideal space would be a human-made underground environment spanning several city blocks w/ complex layout & multiple stories, including atriums, tunnels & stairwells. Spaces
that are currently closed off from pedestrians or can be temporarily used for testing are of
— DARPA (@DARPA) August 28, 2019
The vagueness of the request left active imaginations steeped in too much sci-fi in a state of frenzy.
It didn’t help matters that Military.com reported last summer on the Army training soldiers to fight in large-scale subterranean facilities that exist beneath dense urban areas around the world.
Turns out, it was much ado over nothing, according to Life Science, which reported that the request was made in support of the ‘urban’ round of the Subterranean Challenge (SubT Challenge).
SubT Challenge is a team-based competition to develop and use technologies for navigating unfamiliar underground spaces.
“As teams prepare for the SubT Challenge Urban Circuit, the program recognizes it can be difficult for them to find locations suitable to test their systems and sensors,” DARPA Chief of Communications Jared Adams told Live Science. “DARPA issued this [request for information] in part to help identify potential representative environments where teams may be able to test in advance of the upcoming event.”
The story “took on a life of its own” online, as the science website put it, and Adams explained that his day was consumed with trying to clear up “misperceptions” about the request.
The responses to DARPA, to include a sea of memes, was epic, as conspiratorial juices were flowing.
So much so that you could spend as much time perusing through them as Adams did trying to alleviate concerns.
Here’s a sampling of some of the responses from Twitter:
Uh… something gonna happen we should know about?
— david lee hrothgar (@bizmarkiedesade) August 28, 2019
This sounds ominous..
— Michael (@UhhYeahMichael) August 29, 2019
— T?? ?☠️⭐⭐⭐⭐ (@Cyberaider4) August 29, 2019
Have y’all reached out to Batman yet? His Batcave sounds perfect! pic.twitter.com/PEokYyb4IC
— Mr Texas (@RGVCritic) August 29, 2019
— Rocco Ryan (@rocco_ryan) August 29, 2019
What the Frankenstein is going on??
— Ghost Dance (@cdiluvio) August 29, 2019
I don’t know, but you should definitely ask Christopher Walken.
— Aviel Roshwald (@RoshwaldAviel) August 29, 2019
Do you want zombies? Cause this is how you get zombies!!
— Pes1966 (@Pes1966) August 29, 2019
— Gaia (@YourMotherGaia) August 29, 2019
I’m about 97% sure I know what u guys are up to (or down to rather) ? . . .
You’re making Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers or better known as C.H.U.D.’s ?
— Jay Pase (@J_M_0_N) August 28, 2019
They deny climate change bc they want us all to die ??
— Melisia (@melisianyc) August 29, 2019
— Ron Shaw (@s99_ron) August 29, 2019
If not, I was mistaken. There are no tunnels at UCSD.
— Emilio M. Bruna (@BrunaLab) August 28, 2019
Nothing to worry about, DARPA just needs some large underground facilities and it needs them in the next 48 hours https://t.co/nl1S5uFUHu
— Matt Ford (@fordm) August 29, 2019
“We are definitely not looking for new places to keep all the Demogorgons.”
— Ricky Billingsgate (@ambivalentricky) August 28, 2019
Uhhhh… We have no recollection of any demigorgons. pic.twitter.com/Q4ld8n4Pt0
— Argonne National Lab (@argonne) August 29, 2019
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