That there is Potsdamer Platz, one of Berlin's most important public squares, and therefore the kind of place that's unlikely to feature giant, ugly-ass pipes running above the ground, unless your city planners are really, really drunk. Yet there these massive pipes are, and they're far from the only ones. Painted with enticing hues of pink and purple, these constructs run rampant all over the city, forming massive knots in people's backyards ...
Monika Kanokova / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images
"I'm not saying it's alive, Kurt. I'm just saying it wasn't there last night."
... and ominously twisting and turning over the streets like an Elder God's game of 3D Snake:
Via Berlin Global
The pink ones are docile. If you see a green one, fuckin' run.
Some visitors assume these are gas pipes, or maybe some strange, city-wide art installation. Others write them off as a particularly horrifying spin on a sewer system, a theory that could add some very literal shittiness to the already crappy 5 p.m. traffic when one of these pink city-colons inevitably bursts over a busy street.
The truth is just as strange, if not stranger: these pipes are actually designed solely to fight the marshlands that are Berlin's bane. The city is built on swamp (its name basically translates as Swamp City), which leaves its ground-water level insanely high -- just a little over 6 feet under the surface. This means that every little act of tunneling and construction would equate to willingly flooding a significant area ... that is, if the city didn't have 40 miles of easily constructed drainage piping system at its disposal. It's pretty neat, though I'd argue that my pet theory of Berlin being under constant attack by a mechanized tentacle monster is significantly more awesome.
It would flood the city with Japanese tourists instead of water.