The Mojave Phone Booth: Where Every Call Was Long-Distance

In 1997, a nameless intrepid internetter discovered something odd on a map of the Mojave desert– a phone booth literally in the middle of nowhere. Located 14 miles from the nearest paved road, it appeared to be a mistake on the map. The man decided to check it out and found, sure enough, a lone phone booth in the middle of the desert, like some American version of Doctor Who had just said “Fuck it.”

But just what in the hell was the point of a sole phone booth surrounded by nothing but sand? Turns out that in the 1960s, a mining colony used it as a community phone since there was no other service in the area. When the mine was tapped and the residents moved on, no one seemed to inform the phone company. In fact, the phone was apparently even upgraded from rotary to touch tone in the 70s and phone service was maintained for decades with no one using it.

After word of the phone booth spread across the internet, it became a sort of tourist spot for people, answering calls made by anyone who felt like calling, before Pacific Bell finally destroyed it in 2000 because they didn’t give a shit until the internet noticed. The booth still has its own fan community and, naturally, a cheesy-sounding indie feature film starring Steve Guttenberg has been made about it because of course it has.

On the downside, anyone stranded out there now is totally fucked.