The German Town That's Literally Breaking Apart

  • Published on Nov 20, 2017
  • The town of Staufen, in the south-west of Germany, has a problem: a drilling operation in 2007 that went very wrong. Half a metre of movement might not sound like much, but in this town, that's enough for the buildings to crack and fall apart.
    Thanks to Constantijn Crijnen for both suggesting the video and being the local expert! His channel's here:
    And here's an in-depth academic paper explaining why and how it all happened, in far more detail than would work in a TVclip video:
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Comments • 1 089

  • Zenas Starchild
    Zenas Starchild 25 days ago

    Why were they drilling in town? Geo thermal you say? Shouldn't that be done out of town?

  • steve cannon
    steve cannon 27 days ago

    The sad thing is that even if they stop the water, the water that is already there hasn't many places to go. Goodness knows how many generations natural evaporation through the soils and rocks it might take. I hope it at least finds a way to level in a way that the town can repair from.

  • Ancient Cookie
    Ancient Cookie Month ago


  • MarbleSwan666
    MarbleSwan666 4 months ago +1

    At least they had a sense of humour about it, they were cracking jokes!

    • aknopf
      aknopf 5 days ago

      Of course! Germans are well know for their sense of humour!

      _Wait, what?!_

  • UnKraut
    UnKraut 6 months ago

    Bor-holes lul

  • Bluetrainer91 FireBlast

    COME ON GERMANY 🇩🇪 be the best country in the world, rightfully so. Your government should prove it by resolving all problems & even in small towns like this.

  • Tobi Avea
    Tobi Avea 6 months ago

    Nice deutscher Titel, englisches Video.... RIP

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn Month ago

      +Shirokröte Dann stimme ich mit dir überein!

    • Shirokröte
      Shirokröte Month ago

      +Constantijn Das war an den Herr. Aves gerichtet.

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn Month ago

      +Shirokröte Brauchste mir nicht sagen. Ich versteh schon was ich damals gesagt hab, auch wenns nicht so rüber kommt :D

    • Shirokröte
      Shirokröte Month ago

      +Constantijn Oder einfach Englisch lernen

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn 5 months ago

      schalt doch die untertitel an? ;)

  • Christopher G
    Christopher G 6 months ago

    2:10 "Experience is wonderfull. Unfortunately you only ever make it *after* you would have needed it."

  • Jamie MacDonald
    Jamie MacDonald 6 months ago


  • Bose-Einstein
    Bose-Einstein 7 months ago

    How long until a sinkhole swallows the town?

  • alan smithee
    alan smithee 7 months ago

    Cracking story as always Scott, you're always on the splitting edge of interesting facts.

  • MrJonton01
    MrJonton01 8 months ago

    I live 15km away from the town :O

  • Classix
    Classix 8 months ago

    Everything in Germany is breaking!

  • Joshua Hunt
    Joshua Hunt 8 months ago

    Note to self: don’t tap for geothermal power near cities or towns.

  • Lennardo Da Vinci
    Lennardo Da Vinci 10 months ago

    the poster you show at the end is highly ironic

  • Ducky
    Ducky 10 months ago +1

    Use Flex Seal

  • 0MindSwept0
    0MindSwept0 10 months ago

    This is why people need to stop screwing with stuff that isn’t theirs to screw with, if it takes that much effort to get it really isn’t worth it, and now you pay.

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn 8 months ago

      Although I do agree that some drilling operations and most fracking operations for oil should be better regulated, I find that connection to the Staufen story a bit far-fetched.

    • 0MindSwept0
      0MindSwept0 8 months ago

      +Constantijn I was talking about oil etc.

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn 8 months ago +1

      Noone was screwing with stuff they weren't supposed to screw with and it wasn't much effort at all to drill a couple of boreholes. Drilling for geothermal energy is known to be easy and reliable. Staufen was just extremely unlucky and now they're paying for their bad luck.

  • Number_055
    Number_055 10 months ago

    This isn't in my subscription feed or on your channels upload list. I hate youtube.

  • FancyHands
    FancyHands 10 months ago

    Love ya Tam!

  • Amy B
    Amy B 11 months ago

    I suppose there's no way to sell your house. Who wants a crack house?

  • Finlay Sandham
    Finlay Sandham 11 months ago

    if this happened in america where the houses are mostly wood it would be much worse

  • Sophie
    Sophie 11 months ago +1

    Im like german (wirklich)and i have like no idea what he was kind of saying😂but that looks awfull,can’t believe I never heard from that!i live in south Germany 😪

  • Frettchen YT
    Frettchen YT Year ago

    Ive been there!!

  • Simon Patterson
    Simon Patterson Year ago

    A million Euro? That's petty cash to a drilling company!

  • Michael Moretti
    Michael Moretti Year ago

    Mining directly under a town ... this is American level stupidity.

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn Year ago

      They didn't mine. They just bored a hole

  • naturecollision
    naturecollision Year ago

    staufen going to get lots or crack tourists :)

  • bfjb70
    bfjb70 Year ago

    This seems like a predictable and preventable problem. How did they not know what they were tapping into and what could result? One million euro settlement seems wildly inadequate considering the scale of the loss.

  • Mein Unterkampf
    Mein Unterkampf Year ago

    Just add some FLEX TAPE!

  • Fabian
    Fabian Year ago

    Bohrholes? Denglish at point :D (because Bohr = drill)

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn Year ago +1

      Borehole. Ich hatte schon recht ;)
      Ach und: "Denglish ON point" (because at ≠ on)

  • codyskoff
    codyskoff Year ago

    Call the Doctor, he'll fix the crack with his sonic screwdriver

  • PAul Schalkham
    PAul Schalkham Year ago

    Do a video on the town of schalkham, I'm from USA and wonder about it.

  • DaGucka
    DaGucka Year ago

    The last scene was the most important. The message is true.

  • tommy 33790
    tommy 33790 Year ago

    Yeah I'm a German guy

  • ascended fashy
    ascended fashy Year ago

    I blame the Russians

  • Individous
    Individous Year ago

    dude, before i get to see the video i can already tell you this is Staufen. i've been there a couple of times, very nice town.
    loving your videos. keep doing them! :D

  • Peter Timowreef
    Peter Timowreef Year ago

    Gypsum responsible for massive cracks.
    Next up: how papier mâché is laying waste to historic sites

  • Emrys Ambrosius
    Emrys Ambrosius Year ago

    You're tearing me apart, lisa!

  • The day his dogs shat on your front door

    Interestingly it's not on east Germany, people would think this is a Soviet doing.

  • no one
    no one Year ago

    Hire me, we will get those holes plugged and abandoned.

  • fatyowls
    fatyowls Year ago

    This is why fracking is not a good idea..

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn Year ago

      This has nothing to do with fracking...

  • Ryan Massey
    Ryan Massey Year ago

    My school is going geothermal.

  • Peter Pantoffel
    Peter Pantoffel Year ago

    How would it be breaking apart nonliterally?

  • Lassigamer
    Lassigamer Year ago


  • Im a bee
    Im a bee Year ago

    its funny to see it in a video. My aunt lived there a few years ago, so i visited it quite often.

  • Voillasaur
    Voillasaur Year ago

    The results are cracking :)

  • Marsellus
    Marsellus Year ago

    do you work for the BBC?

  • Flojd_57
    Flojd_57 Year ago

    Footage quality is amazing

  • cyndie26
    cyndie26 Year ago

    I think I remember seeing or hearing something that says San Francisco receives 20,000 earthquakes every year... If this is true, they would almost never be felt, although they still happen as a result of tectonic plate movement...

  • sedwarg
    sedwarg Year ago

    Go to any German city and you'll find it breaking apart... culturally.

  • Darryl Gibbs
    Darryl Gibbs Year ago


  • startreking
    startreking Year ago

    Wow, in America we would have still given permits to the drillers, and make it illegal to sue the drilling company.

  • Herbiesainty
    Herbiesainty Year ago

    I voted for Tom in the shorties and I didn't get a 'I voted' sticker. I want my vote back

  • Orakulos
    Orakulos Year ago

    There is another problem that wasn't mentioned. Gypsum can be washed away by water quite easily and scince the newly formed gypsum is both washed away from underneath by the groundwater and from above by the rainwater comming through the newly formed cracks the effects are even worse.

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn Year ago

      The gypsum is not washed away because it has nowhere to wash away to. On top of that, the solubility in normal rainwater (pH 5.6-5.7) is way too low to dissolve any considerable amount of gypsum.

  • ImmerNochBarney - Schwaben Synchro

    :D I live near there :P

  • Jones Johnson
    Jones Johnson Year ago

    I lived about 30km from Staufen, when that happened, and not only there: A few km from where I lived, another geothermal drill caused several earthquakes and shaked my house.
    As stated correctly by Tom, Staufen isn't very special, it's your typical medieval south western German town. However, almost everyone in Germany knew it even before the accident happened: Staufen is where Dr. Faustus lived, an alchemist reputed to have made a pact with the devil, and one of the greatest masterpieces of German literature, the play "Faust" by Goethe based on his life made this small town famous throughout the world.

  • Grant Meister
    Grant Meister Year ago

    Look at the views

  • alexander DR
    alexander DR Year ago

    Yo solo búsqueda a Germán y a town😕

  • Just Swiss
    Just Swiss Year ago

    I live about 30 minutes away from there, in Switzerland... Why didnt I know you where recently there, it would've been a pleasure to meet you :-(

  • T••••• M•••••

    Thats gonna take a lot of flex tape.

  • kairon156
    kairon156 Year ago

    You should do a video on Fracking.

  • Memebike
    Memebike Year ago

    For everyone interested, the text at the endcard translates to:
    "With the cracks
    come the photographers,
    the TV cameras,
    the radio.
    Pictures of bursted walls,
    gaping holes,
    worried people
    move the country.
    And then everyone is gone again.
    But not the cracks.
    And the holes.
    And the people.
    Staufen "was" not,
    Staufen "is".
    And so it can stay that way,
    it needs our help"

  • NilamYT
    NilamYT Year ago

    Although I'm also German, I'm always a little bit ashamed when I hear Germans talking English with that strong accent as he has. When I speak English, I clearly have some sort of accent - but nobody believes me when I say I'm German because they expect Germans to speak like... Well.. Like that. But hey! Nobody's perfect & only practice will help here :D

    • Constantijn
      Constantijn Year ago +1

      I actually have a dutch accent ;) But yeah. I'm getting there. Slowly but surely :D

  • Dogphlap
    Dogphlap Year ago

    Geothermal seemed like a good way to generate base load power to me but I'm interested to learn it can have its problems to put it mildly. This channel is doing good work in highlighting what can and has gone wrong, in this case over a large area of Germany. We should try and learn from other peoples mistakes and not repeat them where the geology is unsuitable. A nice concise explanation of why the buildings are cracking from someone who sounds like they know what they are talking about.

  • FaceAche
    FaceAche Year ago

    So.....when will it sink???😨

  • uruiamnot
    uruiamnot Year ago +1

    Drill baby.... Oops.

  • Kemal P.
    Kemal P. Year ago +3

    You should go to Groningen (the Netherlands)! The ground there is imploding because the government has been pumping out so much natural gas, to the point that the ground has no foundation anymore

  • badreality2
    badreality2 Year ago

    Split-level housing.

  • Thomas Wicander
    Thomas Wicander Year ago

    haha wow nice to see a video of my hometown! Used to work in the restaurant "Käsestube" wich you can see in the background. If you have any questions about the town feel free to ask me!

  • j1mmyZeta
    j1mmyZeta Year ago

    "the only constant is change" is the argument normally used to justify unpopular social policies

  • Joachim Vist
    Joachim Vist Year ago +1

  • Commander Florian

    Rip staufen

  • petrichor
    petrichor Year ago

    Remember, kids - fracking is coming to a town near you soon *and is perfectly safe with no consequences.*

    • tonstad39
      tonstad39 Year ago

      petrichor This isn’t fracking, It’s geothermal drilling. The two are completely different processes that result in two completely different products.

  • bknesheim
    bknesheim Year ago

    This type of problems crip up all the time when you are drilling for oil and there are effient ways to deal with it. I just wonder if they have had geologs from the oil industry looking at the problem.

  • rjc0234
    rjc0234 Year ago

    its becuse the green party in Germany are stupid, they don't like nuclear energy, so they force companies to do all this stupid stuff. drilling for geothermal is as bad as fracking!

  • Ro C
    Ro C Year ago

    Germany TVclip channels

  • Andrew Gwilliam
    Andrew Gwilliam Year ago

    Wow. It's like the plot of a really cheesy disaster film.

  • Eiko Olijkan
    Eiko Olijkan Year ago

    Title plot twist: the video is set in 1961 Berlin

  • EIKO
    EIKO Year ago +1

    Title plot twist: the video is set in 1961 Berlin

  • Woafy
    Woafy Year ago

    He said the rate started at 1cm a month and now it's at 1ml a month but they are the same thing

    • Myles Adams
      Myles Adams Year ago

      He said millimeter, not milliliter.
      And while 1 cubic cm is 1 mL, a milliliter is not the same thing as a centimeter.

    • MagnificentXXBastard
      MagnificentXXBastard Year ago +1

      what? ml =/= cm, not even the same unit

    MR SLAV Year ago

    Just use duck tape, duh. I thought that germans are smart...

  • Will Roberts
    Will Roberts Year ago

    The great irony here is that it's spackling paste that is cracking the buildings. ;)

  • Will Roberts
    Will Roberts Year ago

    How's that green energy working for you?

  • Dr Logiq
    Dr Logiq Year ago

    I love that they literally put tape across the cracks, y'know, because that's totally going to hold a building together! Not even high-grade duct tape...

  • Raphael Man
    Raphael Man Year ago +1

    "in the decades since the drilling operation": wasn't the drilling conducted in late 2007 (from the article Tom linked)? Thats like ten years, and decades makes it sound like a long time ago...?
    my english isnt great, sorry if this makes perfect sense to everyone else
    Edit: clarity

  • Andre Abreu
    Andre Abreu Year ago


  • David Jaffe
    David Jaffe Year ago +5

    This epic fail brought to you by green energy.

    • TheJewelOfJool
      TheJewelOfJool Year ago

      Geothermal energy isn't the only type of green energy you dipshit. They could have just drilled somewhere else as well.

  • Theme Park World Tour

    Really enjoy your videos Tom, interesting stuff and great content!

  • Joe Hanson
    Joe Hanson Year ago


  • Dokter Kattenbakvulling

    Tom, you should visit Cantillon in Brussels and do a video on lambic (spontaneous fermentation).

  • nutte®

    woaaah, you were near my home town?

  • Kyle
    Kyle Year ago +1

    You've got an awesome voice Tom. So many guys on podcasts and youtube sound like nasally pre-pubescent boys

  • Lacombe57
    Lacombe57 Year ago +13

    Keep this in mind the next time you hear of republicans wanting to deregulate something in the U.S..

  • offplanetevent
    offplanetevent Year ago

    He said, " they need a big plug and there is not one big enough "
    Use Obamas head.

  • Caged
    Caged Year ago

    Somebody need to get him back his red shirt.

  • Christopher Peter

    Can you do a video about the Fallen Monument Park in Moscow?

  • jaymeez
    jaymeez Year ago +1

    Stop poking the planet or else it’s going to retaliate!

  • A Voice Of Your Own
    A Voice Of Your Own Year ago +1

    fantastic video here

  • Henryk Gödel
    Henryk Gödel Year ago

    Isn't it nice how companies can always get away with a slap on the wrist instead of having to pay for the damages they've caused? They've poisoned the drinking water where I live with cancer causing chemicals and the tax payer is having to pay to clean it up (if it can be cleaned up)... It's win-win for them because then someone gets to profit from treating the health problems caused by it.. :D

  • mrgilbe1
    mrgilbe1 Year ago

    That poem at 2:25 in German and English:
    mit dem Rissen
    kommen die Fotografen,
    die Fernsehkameras,
    das Radio.
    Bilder von geborstenen Waenden
    klaffenden Luecken
    besorgten Menschen
    bewegen das ganse Land.
    Und dann sind alle wieder weg
    Nur de Risse nicht.
    Staufen "war" nicht,
    Staufen "ist".
    Und damit es bleibt,
    braucht Staufen unsere Hilfe.
    with the cracks
    the photographers come
    the television cameras,
    the radio.
    Pictures of broken walls
    gaping gaps
    worried people
    move the whole country.
    And then everyone is gone again
    Only the cracks are not.
    Staufen is not "was",
    Staufen "is".
    And so it stays,
    Staufen needs our help.

    CYBERSTRIK3 Year ago

    Such a travesty