What lies below the cold ground that could stop such a mighty machine?
SEATTLE, WA - The world’s largest boring machine ground to a halt after striking a mysterious object of unknown origin that is lurking underground. Speculation about the object has run rampant, causing people to believe that the object could be an Ice Age-era boulder, or a pioneer-era rail car.
The $80 million, five-story tall machine named “Bertha” was supposed to be drilling a new two-mile tunnel for Highway 99. Bertha’s boulder-busting was forced to shut down however when she was unable to break through an object at the 1,000 foot marker.
Some people thought it was dinosaur bones, or an ancient pyramid left by aliens. Others thought it may have been a huge wad of already chewed bubblegum.
Still, the best guess may be that it’s a probably a part of a glacier erratic, which is a rock that differs in size or shape from the native rocks around it.
Transportation Department engineers and the Seattle Tunnel Partners contracting team are working to figure out what the object is, and are said to be considering drilling 60 feet down into the object from above.
“We don’t know whether it is man-made or natural,” a WSDOT official told the Seattle Times.