When workers were renovating the Lincoln Memorial for a major event, they discovered something totally bizarre right beneath their feet. It turned out that Honest Abe was sitting atop a massive secret — literally. And millions of us have been inches away from this sight without noticing it. If you’ve ever set foot on the Tennessee pink marble floors and stared up at the stoic expression of America’s 16th president, you were actually standing right above a decades-old secret passage that few knew existed.
Workers made a startling discovery
A construction crew working at the Lincoln Memorial back in 1975 was tasked with renovating the bathrooms. Little did they know, their seemingly-simple task would lead them to an unexpected discovery. Not long into their project, they noticed something strange about the structure’s foundation that no one was prepared for.
The hidden room
When workers took a closer look at the foundation, they discovered a massive room beneath the chamber that housed Lincoln in his chair. As anybody else would do after discovering a major historical secret, the construction crew quickly spread the word about the mysterious area. It was a point of fascination. How long had this room been there, and why was it there in the first place?
Exploring the "cave"
Of the people told about the secret room, some were members of the National Speleological Society — AKA, they were passionate about exploring old, mysterious caves. And when they cave divers first ventured underground, they explored the giant room with awe. Stalactites and stalagmites formed during the years the space was neglected. It was while they were exploring that they had a startling realization.
Why was it there?
Oddly enough, the cave wasn't naturally formed but man-made. And the room was massive: 43,800 square feet, to be exact. The more they poked around, the creepier Lincoln Memorial's concealed level revealed itself to be. Besides the rats, insects, and general spookiness, its mere existence made the group prickle with paranoia. Why was no one aware of this clearly intentionally-made chamber?