Six Fears of a Cave-In: By Jason Nunley

I have been watching the rescue operation for the Chilean miners on the news and wondered what it would be like to be trapped underground.  I have been spelunking many times and had never thought about being trapped underground.  Hearing the story of the 33 miners and watching the rescue attempt, has made me wonder what my fears of a cave-in would be.

1)   Buried alive:  There is nothing like feeling helpless in tragic situations, especially when you are trapped underground with no obvious way out.  This could cause even the bravest of us to tremble.

2)   The unknown: Even if someone knew that you were in the cave when it collapsed, it doesn’t give you the warm fuzzy feeling that someone knows you are alive.  Like in Chile, it could take weeks before someone even knows you are there.

3)   Claustrophobic:  Being trapped means you don’t really get to choose where you are going to be when it happens.  Like the miners in Chile, there was only about 500 square feet for 33 mean to occupy for the duration.

4)   Out of breath: The oxygen level along with the panic attacks would make anyone feel like they can’t breath.

5)   Scared of the dark: Normally it would sound absurd to think a grown person would be scared of the dark.  But, I have been in a cave when the lights are out and the thoughts of the last few minutes of light send chills up my spine.  To think it is the last light you will see could be horrific.

6)   Ooh that smell:  Trying to make light of a serious situation, smells could be a very big problem.  As in Chile, the miners are very dehydrated and have been on a liquid diet since they were discovered.  If someone were to get nauseous and begin to vomit, they could lose valuable fluids in their body.

These are the main concerns I would have if I were trapped underground.  What would scare you?


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