Pitch Black: Wrecked Spaceship Prop in Coober Pedy, Australia

wrecked-pitch-black-spaceship-prop-in-coober-pedy-australia (All images courtesy of Rob Chandler; Coober Pedy’s wrecked Pitch Black spaceship)

Situated 500 miles north of Adelaide at the heart of the world’s largest opal mining centre, the dusty South Australia town of Coober Pedy boasts a number of intriguing landmarks. Among them are an amazing series of underground churches, shops and other structures, along with the hulking form of a crashed spaceship lying next to a shower and toilet block.


It isn’t a real spacecraft wreck, of course (unlike these abandoned space shuttles), but a film prop from the cult 2000 science fiction movie Pitch Black, starring Vin Diesel. In the film, antihero Richard B. Riddick is on his way to prison when the spacecraft carrying him strikes some comet debris and is forced to make an emergency landing on a deserted alien planet.


Bring on the remote Coober Pedy, which turned out to be the ideal place to film such a scene. Over the years, the small Australian town, which relies on tourism as well as opal mining, has also served as a backdrop for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Red Planet and The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.



But its the wrecked Pitch Black spaceship that serves as the mining town’s most visible Hollywood legacy. WebUrbanist writes that the large-scale prop was bought by a local shop owner after filming was completed and has been accessible to the public ever since.


For many tourists in the region, it was scenes like Riddick’s escape from the stricken craft that first put Coober Pedy on their radar. The unmissable prop continues to attract avid Pitch Black fans today, and has helped to introduce many visitors to the settlement’s equally impressive ‘underground city’.


The dry desert conditions have helped to keep the wrecked spaceship (which can be found to the west of Hutchinson Street) in reasonably good condition, while the surprise popularity of Pitch Black spawned the 2004’s sequel The Chronicles of Riddick.


Related: 5 Abandoned Spacecraft & Vehicles Resting on the Moon



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