The hot Australian sun scorches your skin. There's hardly a tree or blade of grass in sight because the desert is too dry to sustain them. The climate is so unforgiving, half the town lives in underground dugouts and converted opal mines.
It sounds like the setup to a futuristic sci-fi story, but this is a real town called Coober Pedy.
Most of the world's opals come from this part of Australia, and temperature in the opal mines stays cool while the mercury topside regularly reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). Naturally, people decided it would be more comfortable to live down there.
The underground homes are furnished and lit just like the ones above-ground, and only the rock walls and lack of windows give any indication that you're underground. They have dugout motels, churches, and shops, and Coober Pedy is famous for its golf course. No, it isn't underground, but it is played in the cooler temperatures of night, with balls that glow in the dark.
I've been transfixed by this town since I learned it existed, and had to make a futuristic version.
My version of Coober Pedy is a town trying to thrive in an unforgiving world that has forgotten all about it. It might not look like much on the surface, but it's a vibrant and colorful little gem, if you're just willing to dig a little.