Stockholm, Sweden

Kungsträdgården Metro

Forrest Mallard

A subterranean paradise for arachnids and fungus, and that’s a good thing.

Location

Kungsträdgården is the end station of line 10 and line 11. The platform is located approximately 34 meters underground.

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Taking the metro in Stockholm is a rather pleasant experience, as many of the stations are full of some very serious art installations. And though the Kungsträdgården Metro Station is among the most impressive in these respects with its illuminated ensemble of neoclassical pillars and statues standing in front of the bare rock tunnel walls. Almost everything on the station tells the story of the site above ground. About its history, former and current buildings. The color scheme – red, white and green – is a reference to the old French formal garden and statues around the station are actually replicas or surviving artifacts of a local palace’s exterior art after it burnt down in 1825.

As impressive as the artwork is, however, it is not what makes this particular metro stop special.

There are many species of flora and fauna that have sucked researchers and scientists to make this metro stop their home.

Kungsträdgården is the only place in Scandinavia where you can find the Lessertia Demichelis, a two-millimeter‘ dwarf spider.’ This little guy only lives in the caves pits and catacombs of southern Europe. The cave-dwelling spider has lived on the station’s walls ever since it opened for service in the mid-1970s, but scientists don’t know exactly how it got there. Presumably, it traveled on machines and excavation equipment from Southern Europe that was used during the construction.

There is also a moss growing on the walls that was previously thought to be extinct in the Stockholm region. The pillow moss growing here has only been found to thrive in the hothouses in Stockholm since the 1930’s and otherwise has remained confined to the Öland and Gotland areas.

In 2016 a team of scientists conducting a survey of the metro’s wildlife discovered two previously unknown species of fungi covering the station walls. Upon closer analysis, the fungi turned out to be from a previously unknown genus, with unique DNA compositions.

But wait, there’s more!

Kungsträdgården is the only station in the Stockholm metro system that can boast violet, turquoise, and dark-green salt deposits. Water is continuously dripping from the ceiling, resulting in the beginnings of a dripstone cave. This has been puzzling experts since the cave consists of granite, and dripstone caves normally form on limestone and marble.

The excitement of all of these revelations was so great, that in 2012 the station was closed for a while so that researchers could study everything and take samples.

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By Forrest Mallard

By Forrest Mallard

By Forrest Mallard

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