Millions are riveted after a TikToker discovered a 300-year-old well buried under his home.
@MortyLad said he's using 'walk-on' glass and spotlights to transform the well into a feature in his kitchen.
Many were mesmerized by the historical discovery, while others got flashbacks of "The Ring."
While a TikToker was renovating his centuries-old home in Cheshire, UK, he inadvertently dug into a strange gravelly mixture surrounded by a ring of bricks. It turned out to be a 300-year-old water well that had been unknowingly buried under his kitchen floor the whole time he'd lived there.
Creator @MortyLad has been documenting the discovery and excavation plans as 421,000 followers on TikTok watch on. His videos have gone hugely viral, gaining millions of new viewers every time he posts. Recently, he's made the "scary decision" to incorporate the well into his new kitchen floor plan as a "walk-on" feature, which has both excited and startled audiences.
@MortyLad, who declined to disclose his name, told Insider this week that he is a 48-year-old retired plumber, so he has a bit of experience with such a unique and high-stakes renovation. He plans on fitting a circular pane of glass strong enough to walk on over the well, with spotlights underneath so it can be viewed in all of its glory.
The project is ongoing, but a video recapping the "journey so far" has accrued a staggering 32 million views since it was shared on Tuesday.
"Obviously, we won't be leaving a giant open hole in the middle of the kitchen," @MortyLad's daughter narrated in a recent TikTok. "It will be lit and covered with special walk-on glass...The well is part of our home's history, and we want to preserve that."
The creator said he was stunned by all the attention, and has recruited his TikTok-savvy daughter to bring viewers alongside the undertaking.
"First night I had 7,000 views, and I joked by the morning I'll have 10,000 and I'll be TikTok famous," he told Insider via DM, noting that he's conducted work on wells previously and is working on the project alone.
"Next morning we had 1 million, and I fell out of bed."
How the ancient well was uncovered, and the muddy and laborious process to turn it into a feature in his house
@MortyLad first shared the discovery of the well in mid-February when he was attempting to install under-floor heating in his kitchen.
"Welcome to WellTok," he captioned his first video about the saga, which has 11.5 million views. In it, the creator wrote that his house had been built in the 1700s, with the structure later extended onto what had previously been a courtyard to accommodate a larger kitchen.
Digging to the bottom of the well has been a spectacularly muddy and laborious process. First, it needed to be cleared of rubble and brick from a previous demolition, he said. Along the way, @MortyLad unearthed several objects that had been buried for decades, including brandy bottles (which he later used as a flower vase), a chamber pot, and old window panes.
At one point, the excavation took a scary turn when he came across a burbling liquid at the bottom of the well that he feared might be deadly gas. However, a detector ultimately concluded that they were just harmless air bubbles.
After days of digging — with some sessions captured on TikTok live streams — @MortyLad reported the well was 17 feet deep. A "flow of clear, fresh water fills to a constant 8 feet," he wrote on TikTok.
Viewers have been both delighted and terrified by the project
Millions of viewers have been glued to the renovation process, with some cheering every step. But others were spooked by the idea of having a massive, ancient hole in one's living space.
"Why the hell would you open up a well in your kitchen? On top of the fact that it's creepy, it's a safety hazard," a top comment on one of his recent videos read. (@MortyLad's daughter responded to this comment in a separate TikTok, clarifying that it will be enclosed and used as a display.)
Still, the thought has sent a shiver down many a-spines. Viewers had visions of the movie "The Ring," which is about a girl who dies in a well. "All fun and games, until some girl in white dress shows up," one commenter wrote. Another added: "The way I would've ignored this, hoped it was nothing, and continued renovations."
As far as @MortyLad is concerned, the virality is exciting, but the derailed renovations have taken a "fancier" turn than they would have if no one was watching, he said. On TikTok, he noted that because the surprise well renovation became so costly, he would have to handle the under-floor heating project himself.
"It's all got very expensive because of this coverage," he told Insider. "That's all I know."
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