Sometimes, it’s exciting to do things you’re not supposed to. This is especially true for teenagers, when getting into a little bit of trouble every now and then is just part of stretching your wings.
But there’s a limit to this sort of mischief, and not just because you’re breaking the law. Take, just for example, trespassing within an underground maze that spans miles upon miles beneath the Earth.
That’s exactly the situation that two teens in Paris found themselves in for three days straight. As if that didn’t sound bad enough on its own, just wait until you see the catacombs that they were trapped in… they’re truly chilling!
In June 2017, two teenagers—a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old—were rescued after spending three days lost in the catacombs underneath Paris, France. That’s a long time to spend trapped anywhere, let alone in a pitch-black underground maze. It gets worse when you find out that those catacombs were essentially a burial ground!
MykReeve / Wikimedia Commons
After being saved by rescue dogs and a search team early on a Wednesday morning, the teenagers were quickly transported to the hospital to be treated for hypothermia. “It was thanks to the dogs that we found them,” said a Paris fire service spokesperson.
Shadowgate / Wikimedia Commons
It’s understandable that it took so long to find them, especially considering that the catacombs form a breathtaking maze beneath the city of Paris. In all, they stretch for roughly 150 miles. Southern Paris’s official visitors’s site, however, is the only part open to the public. That hasn’t stopped some people from finding their own ways in…
Campola / Wikimedia Commons
Since 1955, it’s been illegal to access the catacombs, but it’s not exactly uncommon for adventure-seekers and daredevils to sneak through secret entrance points all to explore the burial ground within. It’s either amazing or horrifying, depending on who you ask!
Vlastula / Wikimedia Commons
The Paris catacombs contain the bones of about six million individuals. Due to public health concerns, human remains were transferred to the underground tunnels during the latter part of the 18th century. Now, they’re all part of the creepy allure that draws people—like those two teenagers—inside.
Tommie Hansen / Wikimedia Commons
The average temperature in the catacombs is about 59°F. That’s not exactly freezing, but that certainly makes for a chilly place to be trapped for three days straight. Not only that, but like most places underground, it gets damp.
Joe deSousa / Flickr
At this point, it’s still not known how the lost teenagers went missing or even who alerted officials about their disappearance. What’s most important, though, is that they were finally rescued from that dangerous situation.
Einsamer Schütze / Wikimedia Commons
The catacombs museum operator was quick to emphasize that, when it comes to the two kilometers (roughly 1.25 miles) of the burial ground that are open to the public, nobody has ever gone missing or gotten lost. So, maybe it’s best to follow the rules down there!
Cesar I. Martins / Flickr
Despite the teens’ little misadventure, the Paris catacombs remain an extremely popular attraction, and people often wait in line for hours to get a glimpse of what’s hiding inside. As long as you’re staying safe, it’s easy to see why such an activity would be appealing to thrill-seekers! Just try not to get lost…
Riggwelter / Wikimedia Commons
It’s terrifying to think that those young people were lost for so long in such a frightening place. It’s wild that all of that is hiding beneath the City of Love.
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