Mysterious Tunnels Discovered Underneath Florida

Source: Stillness in the StormMysterious Universe

Date: December 2, 2018

By: Paul Seaburn

(Paul Seaburn) Have you ever wondered why there are reports of so many giant Burmese pythons in Florida yet no one seems to catch one? Same for the Swamp Ape. And all of those escaped lab monkeys.

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And where do all of those senior citizens disappear to right after the Early Bird special is sold out? Could there be mysterious tunnels only they know about? Turns out that may be the answer, at least in Ybor City, a historic neighborhood in the northeast art of downtown Tampa, Florida, where an urban legend about hidden underground tunnels has suddenly broken through from legend to reality. Put on your miner’s hat and let’s go urban spelunking.

“The tunnels of Ybor City represent one of the great riddles and mysteries.”

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Dr. Gary Mormino, professor emeritus of history at The University of South Florida told Tampa’s Fox13 News that he believed the tunnels – discovered at the corner of 12th Street and Sixth Avenue by construction workers excavating for a new building – were part of the legendary labyrinth rumored to have been built under the city in the 1800s and used for a variety of nefarious activities once they were abandoned before ever being completed for their equally mysterious original purpose.

“Clearly we have tunnels. There’s no question about it. We’ve broken through and we’ve seen them.”

Architect Gerry Curts, whose office is next to the tunnel opening, showed Fox 13 photographs of the tunnels under Ybor City, which was founded in the 1880s by Vicente Martinez-Ybor, a cigar manufacturer. He and other cigar makers hired thousands of immigrants from Cuba, Spain and Italy to roll the hundreds of millions of cigars they sold annually, turning Tampa into “Cigar City.” It’s still known for its cigars but the hand rollers have long been replaced by rolling machines and the neighborhood disintegrated until recently when gentrification by artists revitalized it into the entertainment and office center it is today.

Yeah, yeah, yeah … what about the secret tunnels?

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Right. Tampa Bay Times reports that the first tunnels were discovered in the early 2000s when tracks were being laid for a streetcar system. At that time, it was speculated that the brick-lined, dirt-floored tunnels were part of an old drainage system taking water to the nearby Ybor Channel and Tampa Bay. However, the flat dirt floors told Curts otherwise.

“If you are going to build drainage why would you do it like that?”

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