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5 Reasons Men Love Digging Tunnels

two men standing in giant tunnel
Image CreditHeinrich Frank

Here’s what women need to understand about the masculine urge to dirty our hands transforming and subduing the earth.


In a recent post-gone-viral, Twitter user Kate Whitaker shared a Reddit story written by a woman expressing grave concern about her boyfriend’s unyielding dedication to carving a tunnel underneath a parcel of family land. Behold, the tale:

Upon sharing this story, Whitaker queried, “What on earth is going on with men?” While dudes of Twitter were quick to defend the behavior of our bodacious tunnel-borer brother, their responses were more exclamation than explanation. Therefore, in an effort to help womenfolk understand the masculine urge to dirty our hands transforming the subterrane, here are five reasons men love digging tunnels.

1. Tunnels Glorify God

In Genesis 1, God gives mankind dominion over all the earth. In Genesis 2, God places Adam in the garden. With these actions, God revealed to mankind that he was made for a specific purpose — to be a steward of God’s perfect creation, to tend the terrestrial beauty God gave him.

But shortly after receiving that vocation, the job description was amended. In Genesis 3, when Adam fell into sin, God told Adam his task would now become his curse.

Sin had corrupted not only Adam’s heart, but Adam’s world. The earth he ruled over was now something to be conquered and tamed into yielding its fruit, something to be wrestled and molded back into shape. The earth was now riddled with ugliness, which meant man had a responsibility to reorder it to reflect the beauty of its original state.

Only the scriptures tell us the name of the Savior who will fulfill this task on the day of His return, of course. But until that day, even the most biblically illiterate of men can sense that something needs to be done in response to this disjointed world.  

From his conscience, man feels called both to fulfill his original purpose of stewarding this earth and to endure the curse of subduing this earth. Man knows, from his conscience and being, that the garden is out of place and that he has a responsibility to put things back in order through the sweat of his brow.

Digging tunnels, therefore, should be seen as the instinctual piety of men who cannot rest until they have demonstrated their power over the earth’s crust and built something beautiful beneath its surface. Man’s desire to build underground palaces and cathedrals is not merely a quirk of masculine social conditioning. It’s a direct result of the Eden-longing God has put into his heart.

2. Digging Tunnels Is a Prudent Defense Strategy

In times of war, men have a moral duty to ensure the safety of their wives and offspring. Because tunnels can provide our loved ones both shelter and escape in the event of enemy invasion, just and wise men will inevitably be drawn to the art of developing underground defense systems.

Strange as this practice may seem to you, ladies, the male obsession with tunnels is the chief thing keeping you and your babies safe from Mongols, Huns, and French Canadians. When the time comes, you will be thankful to have such a tunnel to throw your babies into.

3. Digging Tunnels Is a Healthy Way to Deal with Stress

Sometimes life is hard. You get a job and think you’ll like it, but then it’s not as enjoyable as you hoped, so digging tunnels can be a good way to escape the stress of spending 40 hours a week doing something that’s not very rewarding, like digging ditches.

Sure, the tunnel digging process is slow, but it’s really rewarding to see your work come together. It takes a while to fortify your underground game room, for example. But when it’s done, you can hang anything you want on the walls, such as a map of the tunnel you just dug or a picture of you digging the tunnel.

4. It Is Fun to Dig Tunnels

Tunnels are awesome because you get to dig into the ground, and then you can dig through the ground and come out of the ground in another place. So, normally if you walk from your house to the tree, you have to walk on the ground to do that, but if you dig a tunnel from your house to the tree, you can walk under the ground from your house to the tree, which is better.

5. I Have a Cool Shovel

It has a red handle.