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17 Facts About The Tube That Will Surprise You

You spend a lot of time down there, but how much do you know about the tube? Brace yourself for excellent after-dinner conversation, courtesy of EE Cash on Tap, letting you tap into the Underground using your phone.

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1. According to Transport for London, there are "in the region of 40" disused "ghost stations" on the network.

The above photo shows Aldwych Station, which closed in 1994 but is still used for movie shoots and the occasional tour for curious members of the public.
Emily Toop / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: fluffyemily

The above photo shows Aldwych Station, which closed in 1994 but is still used for movie shoots and the occasional tour for curious members of the public.

2. Did you know only two tube stations have all five vowels in their names? Guess which:

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3. Horror novel "A Mystery of the Underground" caused such a scandal in 1897 that the District line (where the book's grisly murders happen) actually saw a drop in passengers.

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4. The tube is home to a species of mosquito that's not found anywhere else on Earth. Apparently they feed on rats, tube mice, and probably the occasional tunnel worker.

5. Stations that are reputedly haunted by ghosts include Farringdon and Covent Garden.

Annie Mole / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: anniemole

6. There have been only three known births on the tube: a girl in 1924, another girl in 2008, and finally a boy in May 2009.

In another 50 years, we'll have enough for a basketball team.
Getty Images/iStockphoto sitriel

In another 50 years, we'll have enough for a basketball team.

7. The recording of 'mind the gap' first appeared in 1968 on the Northern line.

The original voice was provided by a chap called Peter Lodge.
Robert S. Donovan / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: booleansplit

The original voice was provided by a chap called Peter Lodge.

8. Despite the name, only 45 percent of the London Underground is actually in tunnels.

9. The Piccadilly line bends unexpectedly between Knightsbridge and South Kensington stations because excavators couldn't dig through the mass of human bones under Hyde Park.

It's not unusual either. Pits from the time of the bubonic plague are to be found all over London. Spooky!
Hulton Archive / Getty images

It's not unusual either. Pits from the time of the bubonic plague are to be found all over London. Spooky!

10. There are some parts of the Tube which no passengers ever see: Kennington Loop is a circuit of tunnel used by trains switching direction on the Northern line. Trains must be empty to enter.

It's also believed by some drivers to be haunted, with reports of carriage doors opening and closing by themselves as drivers wait alone in the tunnel. Did it just get cold in here?
Sunil060902 / Wikipedia CC BY-SA http://3.0 / Via en.wikipedia.org

It's also believed by some drivers to be haunted, with reports of carriage doors opening and closing by themselves as drivers wait alone in the tunnel. Did it just get cold in here?

11. The longest continuous tunnel on the network is the one from East Finchley to Morden (on the Bank branch) at just shy of 28 kilometres.

Antonia Heslop / BuzzFeed

12. Arsenal tube station was originally going to be called Gillespie Road. They renamed it close to opening, but by that point the Edwardian tiling had already been done. They never fixed it.

munksynz (CC BY-ND http://2.0) / Via flic.kr

13. Aldgate station opened in 1876 and is said to have been built on a massive plague pit where more than 1,000 bodies are buried.

Ewan Munro (CC BY-SA http://2.0) / Via flic.kr

14. Many stations’ tile designs tell a story: In Baker Street you’ll see Sherlock Holmes, film sprockets at Leicester Square, and mosaics in tribute to music hotspot Denmark Street at Tottenham Court Road.

Paul Joseph / Flickr (CC BY http://2.0) / Via Flickr: sashafatcat

15. Forget banana skins – grapes cause more accidents on the Underground than any other fruit.

cheezburger.com / Via cheezburger.com

Cartoons lied to us.

16. During WWII, part of the Piccadilly line was closed and used to store treasures from the British Museum.

Including the Elgin Marbles.
Gary Winfield (CC BY http://2.0) / Via flic.kr

Including the Elgin Marbles.

17. The longest escalator on the Underground is at Angel, which is a whopping 197 feet, or 60 metres.

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The shortest, at Stratford, is only 4.1 metres long.

Here's something else you mightn't know: You can now tap into the Underground with your phone with EE Cash on Tap.

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