Down to earth

Going underground is a passion for some people but for others it’s a necessity

Caver Toufic Abou Nader exploring the undergrounds. Courtesy Toufic Abou Nader
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While some people are eyeing a trip to Mars, others want to go in the other direction and explore what lies beneath our own planet. The National this week highlighted the story of Toufic Abou Nader, a spelunker who just completed a 2,000 metre-plus descent into the 17-kilometre long Krubera-Voronja cave in Georgia and is now preparing to enter into the third deepest cave network, the Illuzia-Snezhnaja-Mezhonnogo cave, which is far more extensive. It will involve spending 35 to 40 days underground.

While the idea of being underground might seem weird to some of us, it’s really not a bad idea. Humans have lived in caves in places such as Petra in Jordan and Cappadocia in Turkey, and there are modern underground homes in Coober Pedy, in the South Australian desert – because it’s cooler than living on the surface. Perhaps we could apply this idea here in the UAE, and have underground resorts where people could escape the hot summer .