At a certain level, major cities start to feel the same: congestion, pollution, noise, "Dear, God, what's that smell?" and the like. We've all been there. But for all the similarities, some cities have bizarre problems that are uniquely their own. Look at how ...
Dhaka is the biggest city you probably don't think or hear about much. It's the capital of Bangladesh, and with a population of nearly 9 million packed into 118 square miles, it's the most densely populated city in the world. This has led to some hellish problems, such as being too crowded for the dead. There's no room for new burials, so they stack new burials on top of old ones (without telling the deceased's family) like a morbid version of Jenga. But what really makes life rough is monsoon season.
Sk Hasan Ali/Shutterstock"What do you mean 'It's too wet to go outside?' You kids go raft down to the park and get some exercise!"
All of South Asia gets intense monsoons, and with them comes the obvious problem of flooding, but Dhaka also has to deal with having a tiny drainage basin. That might not sound that bad until you think about what kind of water runs beneath a city: sewage.
During the monsoon season, the city basically becomes a flushing toilet bowl, as sewers turn into swirling vortexes of shit that can actually suck people in. In 2008, the city suffered a rough wet season and dispatched seven workers to fix the sewers. Normally they'd use ropes for safety, but this crew was new and inexperienced. The surging water sucked them down, killing four and seriously injuring three. A common sight is people waste-deep in shit-water scooping it out by hand to help the city drain. The situation is so frequent that the main newspaper runs sadly resigned headlines like "Dhaka Underwater Again" and "It's The Same Old Story."
There's A Floating City Inside Lagos
With about 200 million people, Nigeria is one of the most populous countries in the world. Lagos, its largest city, is a sprawling megalopolis that's exploded in population over the last few decades. Like any major city, it has slums. Less usual, however, is how the Makoko slums of Lagos float on the Lagos Lagoon. It's like a monkey's paw wish for waterfront property.
Alucardion/ShutterstockCity Leaders: "We won't have to worry about sprawling slums if there's literally no land for the poor to stand on!"
The Poor: "Hold my oar."