When you think of Playboy magazine, you normally think of nudie pictures, and not diagrams of major infrastructure projects – but for April Fools’ Day in 2015 their website turned up the latter.
I’m a sucker for stories about tunnels, so I kept reading, until I reached a schematic diagram of the supposed tunnel beneath the Playboy mansion.
It was then a strong feeling of deja vu hit me – I could have sworn I’d seen a identical tunnel profile diagram somewhere else.
A few years ago I found a diagram of the proposed Melbourne Metro tunnel profile beneath Swanston Street and posted it online, so I dug it out again.
Do you see the similarity?
A check of the diagram featured in the Playboy article showed plenty of detail.
Detail that was almost identical to the original Melbourne Metro rail tunnel diagram, other than the mentions of Melbourne.
So how did a diagram of the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel end up in Playboy? I’m guessing the staff behind the prank hit up Google Image Search for a diagram that matched the look and feel they were looking for, then used it as a basis for their artwork.
Note that version of the tunnel diagram is 3000 pixels across, which is three times as large as the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel diagram that I originally shared – in all, some pretty clever work from the team at Playboy.
Playboy set the record straight on the tunnels a few days later, with an ‘April Fools!’ message from Hugh Hefner.
As to the original Melbourne Metro diagram, the notes on the bottom indicated that it was produced by two staff from Maunsell Australia Pty Ltd (now AECOM) – J. King and C. Stout. Both can now add ‘published in Playboy’ to their resume!