16 Facts About Secret Underground Labs That'll Blow Your Mind

Actually, we didn't really know ANYTHING about secret underground labs. Until now. To uncover more mysteries, watch Helix on Fridays starting January 10 at 10/9c on Syfy, and you can sample the first 15 minutes before the premiere here.

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1. First off, YES, underground labs ARE real.

NNSA News / CC BY-ND http://2.0 / Via Flickr: nnsanews

This is the Cygnus Dual Beam Radiographic Facility, located nearly 1,000 feet underground at the Nevada National Security Site.

3. The National Ignition Facility (Livermore, CA) houses 192 of the world's most powerful lasers, which sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie.

4. During the Cold War, the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (Southold, NY) conducted a secret biological weapons program targeting livestock.

6. ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment), also located at CERN, produces a quark-gluon plasma with a temperature at around 5.5 trillion degrees.

9. The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station traditionally screens a triple feature of The Thing at the start of the winter season.

Universal Pictures / Via nun-final.tumblr.com

Because there's no better way to kick off six months of constant darkness than with a movie about a shape-changing monster loose in an Arctic base.

11. It has a Twitter account...

DEAP-3600 experiment lookin' spiffy! http://t.co/KxY9oHHtwC

SNOLAB

@SNOLABscience

DEAP-3600 experiment lookin' spiffy! http://t.co/KxY9oHHtwC

/ Via

14. The Sanford Underground Laboratory (Lead, SD) grows its own copper — the purest copper in the world.

Louise McLaren / CC by http://2.0 / Via Flickr: louisephotography

But it doesn't grow like a tree. It's a process called electroforming.

...2013 is the first time Area 51's existence has been acknowledged by the CIA and the president.

Ryan Lowery / CC by-ND http://2.0 / Via Flickr: ryanlowery

Full disclosure: Obama mentioned it as a joke at the 2013 Kennedy Center Honors, and the CIA declassified documents detailing the history and purpose of Area 51.

For a glimpse into a more insidious laboratory, watch the premiere of Helix, Friday Jan 10 at 10/9c, only on Syfy.

View this video on YouTube