Coober Pedy

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uppladdat: 2007-05-09
Vera Ryckert

Vera Ryckert 28 år

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I’d like to begin by saying that this has been a really interesting branch of learning because of my choose of subject. I’m so glad that I found something that was fun working with and exiting to learn about.

I have chosen to talk about Coober Pedy, or “ the opal capital of the world” The town was first named as “kupa piti” of the aboriginals, it means “ white man in a hole” and Coober Pedy is, as you almost can hear, a version of the aboriginals name of the town.

The thing with Coober Pedy that takes the breath away is the weird under ground town that is build under, or in, Coober Pedy. At first it sounds unbelievable, but when you read or hear a little bit about it you actually starts to find it almost average. The question that I first asked my self was why they have built a part of their town under ground. But from November to March the temperature in this part of Australia can go up to 45° by day and in the night it can be really cold, this is because it’s partly desert climate out there. So there is the answer to my question. Down there it’s the same temperature all the time. And so on you don’t even need an Air Conditioner.

But it’s not only apartments, if you can call it that, who’s built under the ground in Coober. People have also built Museums, art galleries and potteries. And one well-known thing that they also have down there is the opal shops and mines. The opal is one of the biggest relies in Coober Pedy, that and the tourism of course. The opal was found for like 100 years ago by Jim Hutchison and his son, William. They, and a group of other men, where out looking for gold but instead William found opal. And from there the nick name “the opal capital of the world” appeared, since it’s the biggest opal industry in the world. If you don’t know what opal is I can tell you that is a form of many chemically things, it’s difficult to explain but within the mineral structure in the opal, its containing water. It’s actually about 6-10% water. Opal is, believe it or not equal to gold. The price of opal all depends on the colour, the red ones is most expensive then it’s the green opals and last the blue.

It was after World war one that the first people introduced “dugouts” because of the climate. But it wasn’t easy in the beginning for the reason that the environment wasn’t adjusted to under-ground living. It took long time to get water down to the “dugouts” and when it first did it only came like 24 gallons (60 litres) per week witch wasn’t much for all those people down there. Today they have a more complicated but better method to get more water. And the civilisation has a population of 3000 inhabitants.
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Vera Ryckert [2007-05-09]   Coober Pedy
Mimers Brunn [Online]. http://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=8122 [2017-11-21]

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