This Is Why People Are Living In The Middle Of Multi-Lane Motorways


How is a motorway for a backyard? In this typically Chinese phenomenon called “nail houses” or “dingzihu”, owners refuse to sell their property leaving greedy developers no choice but to build around it.

The result of a loophole on the Chinese legislation, this act of defiance was such a hit that, in 2010, it inspired a flash game called The Big Battle: Nail House Versus Demolition Team.

With the transition from communism to the government allowing people to own private property, the legislators forgot to tell everyone what to do in case a massive investor wants to build a public path in the middle of their kitchen. As a result, there is no law to make people sell; and many choose not to.

From owners living nearly a year in buildings without water and electricity to motorways built around smiley elderly ladies, here are some of the nail houses, and even a “nail grave” in China! To get you ahead on the nail houses quiz, this is the most famous nail house in the world. Located in the middle of a road in Wenling, in the Zhejiang province, it was demolished in December 2012 after the elderly couple who owned it finally settled for approximately £30,000.

This is the most famous nail house in the middle of a road in Wenling, in Zhejiang province. The elderly couple refused to settle for their home to be demolished.

The coolest nail house in history was a 2-year ordeal full of drama in Chongqing involving Martial Arts Champion Yang Wu and his wife, restaurateur Wu Ping. From violent threats from Yang Wu – who said he would beat up any invaders, to developers cutting power and water as well as excavating a 10-metre wide pit around the house, everything was anxiously covered by the Chinese media. After turning down 3.5 million yuan (£399,203.73), the owners eventually were forced to settle in 2007.

Here, owner Zhao Xing had his home partially demolished and water and electricity have been cut. Were you complaining about that boiler being too small?

Sometimes, it is hard to reach an agreement with the local authority. How much would you charge for the demolition of your history, plus all your hopes and dreams? This nail house in Nanning was in the middle of a road under construction in 2015.

Who knew that nail graves could be a thing? In the province of Shanxi in China, in December 2012, builders had to work around someone’s grave. The owner of the grave, who is surprisingly lively, wanted more compensation for the site.

If in nail houses, the risk of car crashes in your bathroom is alarmingly higher, the silver lining is that there is probably less danger of burglary.

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