Skyfall – the best Bond film ever? We’re not sure, but one thing is certain. You don’t get to be a creditable Bond villain without a proper lair in which to lurk. One year on from our first suggestions, here are a few more to choose from…
Your reign as an evil geologist continues. You’ve dyed your hair blond, you control the water resources of a large chunk of South America and have diversified into cyber-crime, but you’ve decided your current volcanic lair has become a little passé. What you need is a change. Something a little less lava-filled. It’s got to be showy, yes, but you’d prefer it if the smoke alarms in your obsidian-hewn en-suite didn’t keep going off.
As you have a casual disregard for local National Park legislation and eco-tourism rules, can I recommend one of the following five as your next base of operations?
1. The Richat Structure, Mauritania. Your acts are world-changing, your ego is expansive. What you need is something suitably large. How about the Eye of the Sahara? Remote, inert and geologically fascinating. A dome of sedimentary rocks with a variety of exposed intrusive and extrusive igneous features, it’ll keep you busy. Assuming you can get wi-fi installed.
2. The Naica Mine, Mexico. Diamonds maybe forever, but the size of the selenite crystals in this cave have them beat in the quantity over quality department. You must be able to construct some sort of crystal-based satellite-mounted laser weapon of death from these things surely? You will have to get some air-conditioning to avoid roasted minions. The humidity’s a bit high and peak temperature is 58°C.
3. Silfra, Þingvallavatn Lake, Iceland. If you’ve got a spare underwater laboratory, get it installed here. Directly between the North American and Eurasian plates, you can hold two major coastlines to ransom while having fun engaging the many scuba-diving tourists in sub-aquatic combat. The crystal clear waters attract divers in great numbers from all round the world.
4. Tsingy de Bemaraha, Madagascar. Being evil does attract the attentions of all manner of do-gooders and some of you will be more naturally defensively minded. Those wanting cover and protection should choose the Forest of Knives. Towering karst limestone daggers present a formidable challenge to aspiring paratroopers and afford many hiding places from intrusive spy satellites. Tsingy is Malagasy for ‘walking on tipoes’. This maze will ensure your enemies are. Comes complete with an army of trained lemurs.
5. The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan. If you miss magma and want to keep things toasty how about here? The result of previous hydrocarbon exploration activities, this pit of fire was created in an effort to stop the vast quantities of methane stored in the gas field below escaping into the atmosphere. As a result this feature has been burning for 41 years and has made the surrounding area smell of sulphur. Your options here are many. Drain neighbouring gas reserves? Hold the atmosphere hostage with a vast reservoir of methane? The choice is yours!