Total Nerd

Secret Lairs More Awesome Than The Batcave  

Zack Howe
303 votes 98 voters 4.2k views 11 items

List Rules Vote up the wildly cool secret lairs that put Batman's silly little cave to shame.

Okay, okay; the Batcave is wicked and the Fortress of Solitude is... solitudinous? But here comes the problem - they're both fictional! What about real secret lairs? Do such things even exist? If that's what you're wondering then get ready for some good news, because real-world secret lairs exist, and many put the Batcave to shame. These structures come in all shapes and sizes, serving a wide variety of functions. Some are government facilities, others are private sector storage units, and yes, some are just people's homes. 

Regardless of where the lair is kept secret, one thing most of these places have in common is a serious creep factor, which kind of comes with the territory of being underground. Of course, not all of them are scary - one of the most subterranean hideouts is loaded with waterfalls, greenhouses, and other signs of life - but even the hopeful ones feel like they're waiting to be commandeered by supervillains.

1 68 VOTES
Villa Vals In Switzerland
Villa Vals In Switzerland is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Secret Lairs More Awesome Than The Batcave
Photo:  Hm decor/YouTube

Villa Vals is a totally decked out, modernized Hobbit hole built into a mountainside in the Swiss Alpine Valley. The open concept is so expansive you could host a subterranean party and seat all of your guests at the dining table that looks to be at least 30 feet long. Some rooms have bed nooks built into the wall, which is always inexplicably exciting, and the eclectic architecture blending austere modernity with traditional Dutch elements is beautiful. You can either look out over the valley or recede deep into the mountain, depending on your mood; it's got it all.

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2 52 VOTES
The Chulo Canyon Cave House In Bisbee, AZ
The Chulo Canyon Cave House In... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Secret Lairs More Awesome Than The Batcave
Photo:  HGTV

Resting 80 miles outside of Tucson, AZ, in the small town of Bisbee you'll find the Chulo Canyon Cave House. It extends 2,000 feet into a granite outcropping, with 2,890 square feet in the main house plus a guest house with 890 square feet of its own. It has an underground library and game room, but probably the coolest feature is the series of pools carved into various levels of an adjacent mountain that are fed by natural springs. No, those aren't underground, but they're still awesome.

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3 34 VOTES
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Secret Lairs More Awesome Than The Batcave
Photo:  Frode Ramone/Wikimedia Commons

The Global Seed Vault is built into a mountain on the remote Norwegian island of Svalbard. It is so named because the people running it (the Nordic Gene Bank) strive to collect a seed or nut for every plant species on Earth just in case there's a global catastrophe, and it's currently boasting over 968,000 samples. The space totals 11,000 square feet and burrows into the mountainside. The metal facade is imposing and, more importantly, villainous; plus, there's even high security within to complete the lair feel. Like, really, can you even build a monolith on a remote, frozen island without it seeming nefarious?

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4 36 VOTES
NORAD Mountain Headquarters
NORAD Mountain Headquarters is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Secret Lairs More Awesome Than The Batcave
Photo:  USAF/Wikimedia Commons

The NORAD Missile Defense System is stored in the bowels of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado. But the bowels of said mountain were not immediately accessible; the US military needed three years and over a million pounds of explosives to create the subterranean chamber. The whole thing is nuke-proof, not just because it's under a mountain, but because the buildings within are built on springs to help absorb the shock of a massive blast. The entrance is marked by a 25-ton steel blast door that you only reach once you drive a few hundred feet into the mountain. Most awesomely, the base is featured in an episode of South Park.

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