Here’s how a runner survived nine days in the Sahara desert
It’s easy to imagine the terror that would result from being isolated on a remote island like Chuck Noland in Castaway. Or maybe in space, like Mark Watney in The Martian. But what Italian runner Mauro Prosperi experienced in real life in the Sahara Desert is scary. Although, oddly enough, also inspiring to the next level.
YouTube channel RealLifeLore posted a video depicting the ultra-heartbreaking episode of Prosperi. For those who aren’t familiar, RealLifeLore is a channel that gives “answers to questions you’ve never asked” and has explored hundreds of random topics. Such as the immense Pacific Ocean really is. Or what would happen to the United States if the Yellowstone super-volcano exploded.
In this glimpse into a fascinating and esoteric part of life, RealLifeLore describes how Prosperi got out of the Sahara Desert in Morocco. The runner was seriously lost during the marathon des sables in 1986 in this African country, plunging alone into the desert; a desert nearly 400,000 square miles larger than the contiguous United States.
While lost in the desert, RealLifeLore notes that Prosperi had to overcome the most difficult physical challenges imaginable. The runner, who found himself off the course after a sandstorm, faced intense heat, isolation and dehydration. The latter forced Prosperi to start drinking his urine. As well as bat blood.
Despite several planes flying over, Prosperi spent days without hope. Or nothing to eat. His only respite from the heat was at a small sanctuary, where he attempted suicide in hopes of increasing the chances of someone finding his body; something he desperately wanted so his wife could get his life insurance money.
Fortunately, Prosperi’s suicide attempt was unsuccessful, as his blood contained so little water that it could only clot. After leaving with renewed vigor after his stay at the shrine, Prosperi finally found an oasis where he was able to wet his swollen and cut throat. And, from there, stumble upon a group of Tuareg herders who rescued him. Incredibly, RealLifeLore says that Prosperi always runs the exact same Sahara marathon when he can. Which is kind of like Mark Watney’s return to Mars. That is to say courageous and inspiring.
Featured Image: RealLifeLore