My friend has proposed that the buildings in the images below have been sinking into the ground over time and that they're not planned with basements.

He thinks that the bottom of the building was once been at ground level and that some of them have windows and doors left from the past. I'm skeptical to this, I can't possibly think that a building can sink two floors down in the ground.

He's arguing that so many old buildings with basements have "misplaced" windows too close to ground level. I'm thinking that it's not possible to have windows or doors underground, as that would pose a risk for mold, water damage, and shattered windows, not to mention the fact that a building would sink 3 or more meters into the ground, how would the engineers not be able to design a foundation that is not able to support the weight of the building.

We really need an answer to this, we're not engineers, and can't find any information online. Please leave sources as well if possible, thanks!

Here is an image

enter image description here

More images can be found at https://imgur.com/a/kdk7AH0

EDIT: When doing a reverse image search for one of the images, it leads me to some conspiracy theory called mud flood, it's the most stark image of them all where it looks like the building has sunken 8 meters into the ground or more it can't have possibly been built like this. Reverse image search on google

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Is their an active or dormant volcano near by. Where is the location? $\endgroup$ Dec 25, 2019 at 2:39
  • $\begingroup$ Your friend is wrong. It would help your understanding of this if one of you were an engineer, but a tutorial would take too long so I will instead wish you both a happy holiday, and with that I will go off-line. $\endgroup$ Dec 25, 2019 at 3:30
  • $\begingroup$ There are a lot of reasons that buildings may sink, or that the street level may rise. Examples that I can think of off the top of my head are the Seattle Underground where the street level was purposely raised to prevent flooding, and Venice Italy where the city is slowly subsiding into the lagoon. But your top picture looks like the building was built with a basement, probably with access wells for the windows and door, and your bottom picture looks like a typical construction site being dug out for a skyscraper. $\endgroup$
    – TimWescott
    Dec 26, 2019 at 22:33

2 Answers 2


In London many buildings are built with multi-level basements below ground level. This looks like one such building where the surrounding earthworks have been removed prior to commencement of engineering works. I suspect that the vertical reinforcing steel spikes are where load-bearing walls are going to be placed.

In the second image it looks like a French urban development where concrete piles have been driven deep into the ground to prevent lateral substance of adjacent ground. The columns are capped with concrete retaining walls to resist horizontal load pressures. The open construction site appears to be cleared for underground parking for a major building project. There doesn't appear to be any subsidence of any buildings there at all.


I found this youtube video about the same situation on Moscow Polytechnic excavation.

Moscow polytechnic Youtube clip.

Excavations of the building of the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow on Lubyanka Square on September 26, 2017. The bricks go deep underground. History is written by order of the authorities, history is changed by politicians, history is rewritten by scientists. The true story is many times distorted and redone.

Apparently it is done for political, or other indoctrination reasons. Seems like there are many sites like this layin around in Russia.

  • $\begingroup$ use youtube auto-translate. Click on the setting gear on the right bottom and chose English. $\endgroup$
    – kamran
    Dec 25, 2019 at 19:01

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